Broadband Connection to Oak Forest Health Center and Markham Courthouse Will Mean Faster Data Transfer for These County Facilities

February 2, 2016

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today announced the connection of Oak Forest Health Center and Markham Courthouse to the County’s 10-gigabit fiber broadband network. The fiber optic cable connection will allow the transfer of digital communications -- including internet, phone and video -- at much faster rates than previously available at these locations.

The Cook County broadband network is the result of an intergovernmental agreement with the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). The agreement allows Cook County to extend the fiber optic lines that follow CTA tracks to County network core sites. From the core sites, the network then extends to dozens of County facilities throughout the region.

At Oak Forest Health Center the high-speed, secure connection will increase the rate by which doctors and specialists can access medical records, test results and radiology reports. It also doubles the speeds for remote viewing of radiology records by the medical staff.

At the Markham courthouse the network upgrade is necessary to accommodate higher loads of data as public safety agencies begin to produce more digital video recordings. “We are anticipating steep increases in network traffic as the use of video and other digital media grows,” said Simona Rollinson, Cook County Chief Information Officer.

“Connecting Oak Forest Health Center and Markham Courthouse to the County fiber network is an important step in building a strong broadband infrastructure for the 21st century,” President Preckwinkle said. “The Cook County-CTA collaboration is a committed partnership and will provide a positive impact for residents.”