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Community College of Baltimore County Beefs Up 'Fab Lab' Network

The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) has beefed up the network for its Fab Lab, a high-tech facility—open to the public—that enables students and members of the community to use digital fabrication technologies to develop product prototypes. The lab's new network services are designed to improve video conferencing capability and speed up the transfer of data, voice, and video among users at institution's main campuses and satellite locations.

The provider behind the new network services is Comcast. CCBC is using Comcast's Ethernet Network Service (ENS) and Ethernet Dedicated Internet (EDI) technologies in the lab.

"The CCBC Fab Lab is open to students, faculty and the general public," explained William Werneke, the Fab Lab manager at CCBC in a prepared statement issued by Comcast, "which meant that we needed a reliable, high-speed Internet connection that would be able to accommodate the increasing bandwidth demands that we'd be placing on our network each day while also minimizing lag time."

The Fab Lab program is a worldwide initiative that began at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) as a way to foster product innovation among members of the campus and general community. Funded by the National Science Foundation, Fab Labs are outfitted with commercial-grade digital fabrication equipment and materials, including laser cutters, CNC milling machines, 3D printers, and design software, to name a few. Forty of the 118 Fab Labs in the world are located in the United States, according to the Comcast statement. CCBC has the only Fab Lab in Maryland.

The Community College of Baltimore County offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, to students at six locations and online. More information about the institution and its Fab Lab can be found online.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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