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Arlington Named No. 1 ‘Digital County’

Arlington County public service issues mapArlington County is the top “digital county” among those with a population between 150,000 and a quarter million.

That’s according to the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties, which gave Arlington high marks for its tech related to “open government, transparency, citizen engagement, security and operations.”

This is the first time Arlington has achieved the honor.

“We’re proud of this award and for the work that was done this year to help create a more streamlined, responsive and inclusive government using technology,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a press release (below). “Arlington will continue to innovate and explore new technology tools with the goal of creating the best possible experience for residents and businesses when they interact with the County.”

The county is ahead of the curve in tech in a number of ways. In the past couple of years Arlington has launched a dark fiber network that’s open to businesses, a data-driven smartphone app, online streaming of commission meetings and an “open data portal.”

The full press release from Arlington County, after the jump.

The Center for Digital Government and National Association of Counties has named Arlington the No. 1 digital county in the nation for its size. The Digital Counties Survey for 2016 recognizes Arlington’s best technology practices in areas of open government, transparency, citizen engagement, security and operations. A top-ten finisher in past years, this is the first time Arlington has received the highest award for counties in the 150,000 – 249,999 population category.

“We’re proud of this award and for the work that was done this year to help create a more streamlined, responsive and inclusive government using technology,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. “Arlington will continue to innovate and explore new technology tools with the goal of creating the best possible experience for residents and businesses when they interact with the County.”

The annual Digital Counties Survey Award examines the overall technology programs and plans of counties across the nation. Arlington won the 2016 top ranking for its efforts in several areas, including open government. The County’s Open Government Program, launched earlier this year, was lauded for creating more accessible and transparent interactions with departments and services. Key elements of the program include the new Open Data Portal, expanding civic engagement through webcasting of commission meetings, launch of the My Arlington app for mobile users and creation of the online Arlington Today calendar.

The County was recognized for numerous other achievements in the areas of cybersecurity, operations, mobility and shared services and collaboration. Among these was the County’s dark fiber network, ConnectArlington, lauded for its strategic expansion to include Arlington businesses. The ConnectArlington network grew from an initial plan to link all County facilities and those of Arlington Public Schools through high-speed broadband. Designs for the infrastructure were expanded to create a dark fiber network that could serve the region’s innovative high-tech and business communities and boost the County’s economic development efforts.

Arlington County will be presented with the award at the National Association of Counties’ annual conference on July 23 in Long Beach, Calif.

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