The question of whether Wilton should link the library, town and school facilities with an underground fiber network received an enthusiastic endorsement at Monday's Board of Selectmen's meeting from Jeffrey I. Ziplow of Blum Shapiro, the consulting firm hired by the town to address the need for the project.

Addressing the selectmen, Mr. Ziplow said the "reliable, high-speed underground fiber" network would allow the town to continue to function during emergencies and would also protect Wilton's "critical information assets" during disasters and emergencies. He described such assets as "core or critical pieces of information."

Selectman Jim Saxe, who is a member of the townwide network committee charged with revisiting the project, said that at first he thought the data should be stored in the cloud, but "quickly learned" data in the cloud takes a long time to retrieve after an emergency.

Mr. Ziplow said it could take "days, if not a week," underscoring that fiber is a more reliable alternative and "solid foundation." Along with "the continuous operation, the network redundancy would also allow efficient data backup at all three core locations," he said.

However, resident Alex Ruskewich asked how much "data is really critical and important and necessary" for the town's operations.

Mr. Saxe and Selectman Ted Hoffstatter promised the board would follow up on the question.

The townwide network committee is composed of Sandy Dennies, the town's chief financial officer, and representatives of the town's three elected boards and the Wilton Library: Mr. Saxe; Board of Education member Laura Schwemm; Janice Hess of Wilton Library's board of trustees; and Board of Finance member Al Alper.

The committee has scheduled a public hearing on the project for Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m. Immediately after the public hearing, the committee will vote on whether to recommend or reject the implementation of the fiber project.

Blum Shapiro's report is available on the town website, entitled "Information Technology Risk Assessment," at wiltonct.org/index.asp.