Several grant awards, totaling over $1.7 million, approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works will be used to expand local broadband infrastructure to over 1,300 local addresses.
The awards are from the Maryland Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband through the state Department of Housing & Community Development and are split into five separate projects. The details were announced Friday, May 22 by Governor Hogan’s office.
For the first three projects, Garrett County received a combined $704,000. With this funding, the county will partner with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on projects to extend existing networks to incorporate underserved or unserved households.
Garrett County was the grant applicant and will also serve as the manager for each grant award.
These three awards, in particular, will serve an additional county 459 addresses, including 6 businesses and 25 farm businesses, with access to broadband service:
- Procom ($384,657 project cost) – 102 households, plus 6 businesses
- QCOL ($403,399.55 project cost) – 137 households, plus 25 farm businesses
- NeuBeam ($350,000 project cost) – 195 households
“This is great news and another example of how Garrett County is leading the way in rural broadband expansion. This grant total, which is more than any other county in the state, coupled with what we announced previously with our work with Comcast and our continued partnership with Neubeam, is really expanding our access and quality of internet in Garrett County,” said Commissioner Paul Edwards. “We have more to do, make no mistake, but we are very proud of our broadband team for really being a national leader in this endeavor.”
The remaining two state grants are for additional infrastructure within Garrett County.
The first award is to QCOL to serve 786 addresses (households plus 8 businesses and 20 farm businesses). The total project cost of $2,002,894.
Lastly, a portion of an award received by the Maryland Broadband Cooperative will construct fiber optic networks into an area of Deer Park that will allow 132 homes access. The statewide project cost is estimated to be $2,154,240 with no specific breakdown nor cost to Garrett County.