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State Funding Gives Over 1,300 New Addresses Access To Broadband

State funding awards will be used to expand broadband to 1,383 Garrett County addresses with several grant awards, totaling over $1.7 million. The funding has been approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works and will be used to expand local broadband infrastructure to reach 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 Larry 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 reach underserved or unserved households.

As the grant applicant, Garrett County will also manage each grant award.

The three awards will serve additional residential addresses, including businesses and farm businesses, with access to broadband service:

“This is great news and another example of how Garrett County is leading the way in rural broadband expansion," said Commissioner Paul Edwards.

The broadband expansion grant total is more than any other county has secured in Maryland, coupled with partnerships the commissioners announced previously with Comcast and the ongoing relationship with Neubeam that provides wireless broadband. The need to expand the reach and quality of internet access in Garrett County has been underscored by work and learn-from-home options initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Edwards also noted the county has more to do but the commissioners are very proud of their broadband team for being a national leader in this endeavor.

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