Home and Community Options, Inc.

Light Speed Grant Recipient

Peter Walsh, Project Coordinator

Project Update

April 9, 2008


Small steps but progress continues!!  We have another facility connected with FTTH!!  Now we can begin experimenting with some of our broadband applications.  Videoconferencing and “Thin Client” connectivity will be our first two projects and we hope to get started on those very soon.


Our Remote Monitoring efforts are gradually coming together.  We have two IP cameras set up with two-way audio.  This week we will be training the staff at the facility in the use of the cameras.  We will also continue testing the IP Intercom; we ran into some complications last week as it doesn’t seem to like our router.  Need to tweak it a bit.  We will also be arming the wireless window and door alarms this week and testing the remote configuration and monitoring of the security system.  The manufacturer is changing some of the interface code and we decided to wait until the new version comes out before we write our program that will integrate the security system with our Remote Monitoring program.


We are now on our third set of Outlook and Excel classes.  We are excited about the impact this is going to have on overall agency productivity.  We have become very dependent upon email of course and have been using that for internal and external communication for several years but the use of the Outlook Calendar and Tasks were just not evolving the way we had expected.  Now, with everyone taking the classes, we will expect everyone to use the Outlook Calendar and scheduling meetings will be much simpler.  We also clustered our Resources (conference rooms, projectors, etc.) as a separate Exchange group so staff can more easily reserve them.  This really makes managing our resources much easier.


Our e-File program is being implemented at a nice pace.  We now have five programs either completely running or in the final implementation stages of running our electronic file system for our Residential Programs.  This is an integration of Outlook, Excel and Word to provide a paperless record keeping system.  This e-File program was developed internally by our staff so it really fits our needs.  Now that our lead staff have seen its effectiveness they are all clamoring to be next in line for installation.  A nice problem to have!


We have lots of things happening on different fronts and that keeps me busy, but what fun to be able to integrate these applications on a fiber backbone!

light speed communityThe Blandin Foundation is supporting four standout broadband programs through the Light Speed program. The program’s purpose is to stimulate the deployment of bandwidth intensive applications that connect local institutions to area resident’s home. This post comes from a Light Speed community leader.

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