County prison wants to improve Wi-Fi with American Rescue Plan funds

Schuylkill County Prison requests $160K for 42 additional wireless access points, switches and cables to improve communication between iPads used by COs

By Amy Marchiano
Republican & Herald

POTTSVILLE, Pa. — Employees of the Schuylkill County Prison could have improved wireless access if the county commissioners approve spending American Rescue Plan funds.

The county received $27,415,708 in ARP funds from the federal government.

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Money from the rescue plan must be allocated by Dec. 31, 2024, and spent by 2026.

An agenda item at Wednesday's work session said the 42 additional wireless access points, switches and cables could be installed at the prison at a cost not to exceed $160,075.

Switches are boxes where cables from access points are plugged into the network.

Warden David J. Wapinsky said by phone the improvements will benefit the Wi-Fi.

Stan Nestor, head of Management Information Systems, said after the meeting there is "very limited" Wi-Fi at the prison.

Nestor said adequate Wi-Fi is important for various reasons. For example, guards use iPads to communicate throughout the prison complex, he said.

He said the upgrade to existing infrastructure has been requested for about three years and that the access is going to be "pretty much everywhere, including outdoors in the yard."

The system will also be password-protected, Nestor said.

Of the possible cost, he said, about a third is for cable work needed due to the construction of the old prison.

A cost breakdown was not provided.


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