Frederick Launching Broadband Pilot Program to Expand Service to More Residents

This week Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner announced that the County will work to expand broadband opportunities in the region.

The pilot program will use a variety of resources including a $202,012 grant from the State of Maryland Rural Broadband Office to expand broadband service to the Rocky Ridge community. The program is part of a larger effort to bring more service to residents and correct connectivity gaps brought to light by a 2020 study.

“We know that bringing connectivity to unserved and underserved areas of the county supports our economy, and allows work and education to happen anywhere, anytime,” Executive Gardner said. “The pilot program in Rocky Ridge is a small step. We know it will take a combination of approaches over several years to close the digital divide in our community.”

From the press release:

The Rural Broadband Study estimated that it will cost $20.5 million to run a “backbone” network of fiber to connect three geographic areas of Frederick County that currently are not served by broadband. A fixed-wireless network could also help to bring broadband to unserved and underserved rural areas. County Executive’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022 includes a $1 million investment to advance solutions for rural broadband.

The Rural Broadband Study is available online at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/8142/Rural-Broadband-Information. The public information briefing can be viewed at http://www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/FCGtv.

For more information, view the press release.

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