Carroll Commissioners Talk Future of Broadband, Economic Development

The Board of Carroll County Commissioners recently discussed how expanding broadband service can spur economic growth throughout the County. During the last budget session, the Board of County Commissioners allocated $1 million for the expansion of the fiber network in Carroll County.

According to the Carroll County Times,

The option commissioners discussed the most on Thursday was running fiber to business parks in the county to help boost economic development. The committee laid out a handful of business parks including the Eldersburg Business Center, Liberty Exchange, Twin Arch Industrial Park and the Warfield Complex, as possible places to bring fiber network to.

A lot of places already have internet through Comcast and Verizon in place, although Commissioner Doug Howard, R-District 5, pointed out, that doesn’t always mean there’s fast internet. Some places only have DSL, he said.

“Why are we making it sound like we don’t have a need for this,” he said.

“The reason we allocated this money was to drive economic development,” he added.

Commissioner Dennis Frazier, R-District 3, was in agreement, and also said he thought the county should be pushing harder, and possibly mandating, that any new business park being built has to lay conduit to make sure fiber can be used. Conduit is the piping underground that creates the path and allows fiber strands to be laid.

“If we put it in, people will come to use it,” he said. “You don’t know what you can do with it until you have it. If they’re not using it now, they don’t know.”

In today’s world, internet connectivity is no longer a luxury—it is a necessity. Broadband is as vital a resource as running water and electricity to Maryland’s communities and is absolutely critical to the future of our economy, education, and safety.

Learn how counties can benefit from expanding access to high-speed broadband at the MACo Winter Conference session, Broadband Throughout the Land, at this year’s MACo Winter Conference, The Power of Partnerships, on Wednesday, December 6 from 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference: