In today’s world, internet connectivity is no longer a luxury—it is a necessity. Broadband is critical to the future of our economy, education, and safety. Many Marylanders have either limited or no access to broadband, creating a gap in the ability of some communities to participate in the global economy. In order to address the service gap, counties are employing new and innovative solutions.
During the 2017 MACo Winter Conference panel “Broadband Throughout the Land” attendees learned about the challenges and best practices associated with expanding broadband access in Maryland.
Mark E. Ripper, Director, Dept. of Technology Services, Carroll County, discussed broadband in Carroll County, including dark fiber networks, client bases, and relationships with providers and customers. Mr. Ripper also discussed best practices for counties looking to set up contracts for broadband service.
James D. McCormick Jr., CIO, Caroline County, talked about broadband from a rural perspective, including the lack of access to existing infrastructure. Mr. McCormick also described the different options for delivering broadband service, such as aerial, boring, and conduit.
Victor Tervala, Chief Solicitor, General Counsel Division, Law Dept., Baltimore City discussed some of the challenges of expanding broadband access in Baltimore City. Mr. Tervala also talked about potential issues counties could face regarding deregulation for broadband providers.
The session was moderated by Delegate Johnny Mautz and was held on Wednesday, December 6. The MACo Winter Conference was December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year’s conference theme was “The Power of Partnership.”