Broadband Access Brings Rural Areas of the State Online

MACo submitted written testimony in support of House Bill 961, “Department of Housing and Community Development – Rural Broadband Service – Inventory and Mapping of Assets”, to the Senate Finance Committeee on March 28, 2018.

The bill includes rural and underserved areas in a statewide inventory of assets. This map would begin the steps to ensuring that broadband is available in every part of the state, but would be particularly important in rural areas that have little to no service. MACo supports the language in this bill, as it includes these areas in a comprehensive view of service in the State.

From MACo Testimony:

As amended, HB 961 would authorize the Department of Housing and Community Development to complete an inventory of state and local government assets by June 1, 2020. The inventory would then be used to create a map that includes all assets. Initially, this inventory and assessment only included population density and business density for unserved and underserved areas in specified areas of the state. As amended, the bill appropriately expands the range of geographic areas to be inventoried and mapped to all unserved or underserved areas of Maryland instead of areas in specified regions of the state.”

The bill has already passed the House by a 136-0 vote. For more on this and other legislation, follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.