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The Daily Tar Heel

Town's Technology Outdated

The Chapel Hill Town Council heard concerns about the town's overworked technology systems in a report by the Citizens' Technology Committee.

The committee explained Monday night that the existing infrastructure has been forced to support technological growth and improvement but has yet to be updated itself.

Town officials have the opportunity to decide to improve the infastructure based on the reports' findings.

Committee Chairman William Groves presented the results of the committee's investigation Monday.

"The present wide-area network was established to support 120 users and 50 computers; now it's 200 computers and 500 users," Groves said.

But Groves said because improvements would be costly, town officials should consider carefully the rate of change desired.

"(Because it takes) time and money, the town needs to determine how quickly it wants to transform," Groves said.

The committee, formed two years ago to address technological growth, consists of citizens, town staff and council member Kevin Foy. Its members have conducted an in-depth study of present resources and determined seven areas in need of improvement.

Recommended improvements focused on the seven most pressing areas centering around networks, Web development and the needs of public services. Council members Kevin Foy and Edith Wiggins agreed information technology improvements were a chief concern.

"I think the most important component of the task force is the Information Technology Group," Foy said.

"We have got to have managerial-level autonomy to structure and the Information Technology Group needs ability to work interdependently to impose standards."

Although the present plan is mainly conceptual, lacking detailed establishment plans, the report is just the beginning, Groves said.

"Implementing (Information Technology proposals) fairly soon will make progress on all the others," Wiggins said.

Other proposals included increasing networking speed and supporting servers better through centralized funding. Also suggested was the expansion and updating of the town's Web site.

Council member Kevin Foy praised the committee and Groves' leadership for a comprehensive report and realistic improvement proposals.

"This task force was so hardworking and diligent, it was amazing."

The City Editor can be reached


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