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ARPA funds upgrade township wireless network

By Dana Casadei

A very necessary upgrade will soon be coming to Bloomfield Township’s campus after the board of trustees voted 7-0 to use part of the $4.5 million awarded to the township through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) towards the purchase of replacing their campus wireless network.

The new campus wireless system is set to cost $45,108.12, and will be purchased through AmeriNet, Inc., which is a current township vendor.

This purchase will entirely replace the existing wireless network infrastructure, a replacement that was already on the docket for this December. Now, instead of taking the wireless network down twice, the township will only have to do it this one time with this complete replacement and refresh.

Wil Babinchak, township director of information technology, said this update will have a massive increase in security compared to what they’re currently using.

“It’ll increase our security ten-fold from where we’re at now to where we’ll be…it’s just incomparable,” he said.

While the board didn’t have any questions for him about the purchase, clerk Martin Brook brought up a comment to Babinchak from a township citizen who spoke during the evening’s public comment section, expressing concern about sensitive voter data being on the wireless network.

“The sensitive voter data doesn’t reside on our network here, it resides on a state network that is also very secure, and this has nothing to do with that,” Brook said.

Babinchak confirmed the comment is inaccurate, and that the wireless system does not connect in any way to voter information.

“In fact, all of our voting equipment – laptops, voting machines – it never touches our network… it’s never plugged into the wireless network. It’s all standalone,” Babinchak said.

Trustees voted unanimously to approve using ARPA funds towards the campus wireless system.


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