Cecil Gets $13 Million Grant to Expand Broadband Access

The Maryland Office of Statewide Broadband awarded Cecil County $12.8 million in grant funding to provide high-speed internet access across the County.

The $12.8 million grant will allow broadband coverage to reach over 1,300 homes and businesses — and push the County’s coverage for broadband access above 99 percent.

“Access to technology cannot be viewed as a luxury item in a modern society,” said County Executive Danielle Hornberger. “These grant awards are the first step in a multi-year process to extend high-speed internet and broadband service to every business and resident of Cecil County.”

The grant awards result from over 20 applications that Cecil County and its internet service provider partners submitted to the State’s “Neighborhood Connect” and “Network Infrastructure” broadband grant programs. The funding for the $16.2 million projects will include approximately $12.8 million from the State, $2.5 million from the internet service providers, and $900,000 from the County.

In coordination with the County Council, pending approval, the County’s share of the projects’ total costs will come from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

“The collaboration between local government, state, and community partners is certainly paying off in bringing much-needed broadband services to our constituents,” said County Council Vice President Jackie Gregory. “I am happy that Cecil County continues to aggressively pursue opportunities to move toward our goal of making broadband accessible for all our residents.”

According to a County press release:

Choptank Fiber, LLC and Cecil County Government will be partnering to extend broadband service to 323 unserved addresses in Earleville, Cecilton, and Warwick.

Breezeline (formerly Atlantic Broadband) and Cecil County Government will be partnering to extend broadband service to 144 unserved addresses in Perryville and Port Deposit.

Talkie Communications, Inc. and Cecil County Government will be partnering to extend broadband service to 840 unserved addresses in Chesapeake City, Elkton, Fair Hill, North East, and the Elk Neck Peninsula.

Staff from the Geographic Information Systems Division of the County’s Department of Information Technology developed the grant proposals and worked cooperatively with staff from the internet service provider partners on a variety of technical details.

Dave Warnick, Director of the Department of Information Technology, noted that “every address that gets connected is a success. We look forward to the successful completion of these projects, and we remain committed to pursuing future funding opportunities for the County’s remaining unserved areas.”

Visit the Cecil County website for more information.

Visit the Office of Statewide Broadband website to learn more about funding and technical assistance to expand high-speed internet access across the state.