Governor Wes Moore announced that Maryland is awarding nearly $92 million to expand high-speed internet access to an estimated 14,500 households and businesses across the state through Connect Maryland, an initiative to close the digital divide through the Office of Statewide Broadband.
This includes a grant award for Comcast to serve more than 300 new connections in Garrett County, with an additional investment from the company.
The Connect Maryland Network Infrastructure Grant Program made 35 awards to Internet Service Providers and local jurisdictions to construct new broadband networks to service unserved households.
As a result of the ongoing collaboration between Garrett County Government and Comcast, Cheryl DeBerry, Garrett County’s Broadband & Energy Manager assisted in identifying unserved or underserved homes. Before this award, it was estimated there are 6,000 unserved addresses in Garrett County. Unfortunately, the “last-mile” connections are increasingly more expensive.
This project area is the northeast corner of Garrett County covering portions of Pocahontas Road, Gravel Hill Road, Piney Run Road, Beall School Road, Frostburg Road, Old Frostburg Road, Blocher Road, Sam Crow Road, Green Lantern Road, Avilton Lonaconing Road (to the intersection with Green Lantern Road), Teaberry Ridge Road, Laurel Woods Drive, Pine Grove Road, Louvina Drive, Blue Lick Road, and McKenzie Road.
“Access to high-speed internet is critical for Garrett County,” said Commissioner Paul Edwards. “We remain committed to connecting our communities. Cheryl and the team have really done a great job helping to facilitate as many connections as possible through grants and other funding projects.”
“Our continued commitment to investing in and expanding our network in Garrett County will help ensure that more residents and businesses have the connectivity they need to succeed,” said Ray Roundtree, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Keystone Region. “We are proud to provide residents with fast, secure, and reliable Internet services that are built to meet the community’s needs today and into the future.”
In 2022, the Office of Statewide Broadband received federal planning grants for the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment program and the Digital Equity Act program. The funding will be used to develop a framework for identifying unserved and underserved broadband regions throughout the state and provide resources to increase access to technology and education.