MEDC Chairman: Hold Broadband Suppliers Accountable for Underserved Areas

In a meeting of the Maryland Economic Development Commission, Chairman Anirban Basu said he believes that Maryland should impose a tax on internet companies that do not offer service to all.

Many communities in Maryland lack internet access, causing residents to “endanger themselves” in the pandemic as they must travel to areas where internet access is readily available said Basu.

From Maryland Matters:

“If I were governor, I would impose a hefty tax on broadband suppliers, and that tax could be offset if they make investments in certain areas that are underserved by broadband,” Basu told commission colleagues.

“If we’re going to work remotely, if we’re moving towards a more digital economy [and some communities] aren’t connected, that’s not fair,” he added. “Because that means that people — to make a living out there — have got to endanger themselves. … We’ve got to do something.”

During the meeting, Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz stated that there is a concerted effort to close the gaps in broadband access, but there is no simple answer.

See full MEDC agenda.

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