In April we wrote about the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC), an innovative new educational program in Westminster, Maryland, that gives local high school students opportunities to learn new technology skills through hands-on, real world projects. After the success of the program’s first project, the MAGIC program created a temporary wireless network for a second project -- this time for the city’s annual Westminster Flower and Jazz Festival held during Mother's Day weekend.
The MAGIC program is a collaborative effort between Ting Internet and Freedom Broadband, with Ting offering networking equipment and Freedom supervising the project. Ting is the private partner and operator of the City of Westminster’s open access municipal fiber network. Freedom Broadband is the leading provider of wireless Internet in the surrounding Carroll County region.
Festivals and Fiber
The temporary network gave festivalgoers access to extremely fast, high bandwidth wireless connections that connected to Westminster's fiber network. While strolling through the festival to see local jazz musicians and sampling from hundreds of vendors offering food, flowers, and crafts, attendees were be able to wirelessly connect their phones, tablets, and other devices to the city's fiber network during the one day event.
For the program’s first “Tech Incubation” project in April, the MAGIC program’s 15 students also created and operated a temporary wireless network that the City of Westminster used at its annual Celtic Canter and Downtown Irish Celebration. These first two projects are part of a continuous series in which the students have opportunities to further expand and refine their technology knowledge.
Leveraging Municipal Fiber for Economic and Cultural Benefits
Beyond the program’s educational merits, MAGIC is also a technology incubator which challenges talented local students to explore new types of innovation to benefit Westminster's economic development objectives. The program also helps local leaders find new ways to leverage Westminster’s municipal fiber network toward cultivating a robust technology culture in the region.
Interested in learning more about the MAGIC program? Contact Jason Stambaugh, a Board member for MAGIC and for the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, at 301-514-3551 or by email at Jason.m.stambaugh(at)gmail.com.