Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan recently approved nearly $9.6 million in funding for the buildout of broadband in rural areas across the eastern shore and western counties, reported WJZ-TV. The funding has the potential to connect over 5,000 rural households and businesses.
“This rapid and unprecedented shift to teleworking and distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic further demonstrates the importance of high-speed internet access for all Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “This funding continues my administration’s proactive efforts to increase broadband service in our state’s underserved communities.”
The $9.6 million in funding will come from two sources, The Office of Rural Broadband and the Maryland Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program. The Office of Rural Broadband provided nearly $2.3 million to eight local jurisdictions through the Maryland Broadband Pilot Funding Program. The local governments will partner with ISPs to extend existing service to more than 1,300 households and 70 businesses in unserved and underserved rural areas, according to WJZ-TV.
The remaining total, $7.3 million, was provided through the Maryland Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program, with $5.1 million supporting three large-scale projects in Somerset, Garrett, and Charles counties. The remaining $2.2 million will go to the Maryland Broadband Cooperative, Inc., which will bring service to 950 households in Allegany, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, and Wicomico counties.
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