The Board of Garrett County Commissioners yesterday announced that Comcast has expanded its footprint in the County by adding more than 370 serviceable addresses. The expansion is a result of the collaboration between the County and Comcast to extend broadband service to underserved, rural areas of the state.
“I’m very pleased with the progress we are making with not only Comcast but all of our providers. If it were easy, it would already have been done, and I really commend Nathaniel Watkins, Cheryl DeBerry, and Josh Hook for their creativity and hard work to continue to expand and improve access,” said Commissioner Paul Edwards. “They have really set the standard nationally for rural broadband expansion. We all understand there is more work to be done, but I think we have proven that we have the right people for the challenge.”
Over the last several years, the County has been working creatively and collaboratively with internet service providers to help expand local broadband service by identifying service opportunities, assisting with permitting, and, in some cases, providing access along its rights-of-way.
According to a press release:
In addition to Gigabit Internet service, county residents in Comcast’s recently expanded service area have access to all Xfinity services and businesses can get the full suite of Comcast Business products and services.
In addition to continuing to invest in its network to meet consumer demand, Comcast also offers Internet Essentials which provides low-cost broadband service, digital literacy training and discounted computers. “We are pleased to bring our state-of-the-art products and services to more residents and businesses in Garrett County and appreciate the county’s partnership,” said Michael Parker, senior vice president of Comcast’s Keystone Region, which includes Garrett County.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, high-speed internet is defined as an internet download speed of 25/3 Mbps (Megabits per second). As of the fall of 2019, the county estimates that broadband service was available to at least 75 percent of the County’s occupied addresses.
As it partners with ISPs, the Garrett County broadband team is collecting as much service-level data as possible. This will help guide its efforts to reach innovative solutions and creative partnerships to expand broadband access and bring the fastest possible speeds to local residents and businesses.
To help the team assess unmet needs, please visit www.GarrettCounty.org/speedtest.
Comast is a MACo Gold Corporate Partner.
Read the full press release for more information.