ANNAPOLIS, MD (STL.News) Governor Larry Hogan today celebrated the groundbreaking of a major $6 million broadband expansion project to provide high-speed internet service to approximately 1,400 residents of Nanjemoy and Cobb Neck in Charles County.
“The sudden shift to teleworking, telehealth, and distance learning that we have seen over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic has further demonstrated that high-speed internet access is a critical lifeline for students, families, and small businesses,” said Governor Hogan. “Our goal is clear: to ensure that every single Marylander has access to high-speed internet in every corner of the state, and achieving that goal depends on the collaboration of both public and private sector partners just like we see here today.”
The project, which involves the construction of a 90-mile fiber optic network, is made possible through the collaboration of public and private sector partners including the Charles County Commissioners, ThinkBig Networks, the Rural Broadband Task Force, the Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, and the Newburg Volunteer Rescue Squad & Fire Department.
On April 13, Governor Hogan signed the Digital Connectivity Act of 2021 into law, which established the Office of Statewide Broadband within the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The Office of Statewide Broadband will be responsible for administering $300 million in federal funding to improve network infrastructure, for service fee and device subsidies, municipal broadband grants, and digital equity and inclusion programs.