US Department of the Treasury approves $95 million for Maryland to connect 16,667 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet.
The American Rescue Plan provides $10 billion for payments to eligible governments to carry out critical capital projects that directly enable work, education, and health monitoring, including remote options, in response to the public health emergency.
This week, the Capital Projects Fund announced four additional awards to Kansas, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota, totaling over $350 million to increase access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet to an estimated 84,000 homes and businesses.
This announcement follows the US Treasury’s June announcement of the first four Capital Projects Fund awards to states, including Louisiana, New Hampshire, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Capital Projects Fund has awarded more than $915 million to states to invest in high-speed internet infrastructure to reach nearly 285,000 homes and businesses.
According to the US Department of the Treasury:
The state plans approved in this group will support broadband infrastructure and are designed, upon project completion, to deliver reliable internet service that meets or exceeds symmetrical download and upload speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps), speeds that are needed for a household with multiple users to simultaneously access the internet to telework and access education and health monitoring. Treasury designed its guidance to prioritize connecting families and business with poor and inadequate service—particularly those in rural and remote areas. Treasury also requires states to explain why communities they have identified to be served with funds from the CPF have a critical need for those projects.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the long-standing digital divide and underscored the need for rapid broadband infrastructure expansion. High-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband drives state and local economies, raising living standards, creating jobs, and delivering significant advances in education, healthcare, teleworking, e-commerce, public safety, and security.
Challenges remain as counties work with state, federal, and private sector partners to leverage unprecedented federal investments by accelerating service to underserved areas. At this year’s MACo Summer Conference, an expert panel will share best practices, strategies, and opportunities to overcome deployment hurdles, like securing easements from property owners, supply chain issues, and barriers to last-mile connectivity.
The 2022 MACo Summer Conference will take place at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD, from August 17-22. This year’s theme is “Taking Care of Business.”
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- Questions? Contact Virginia White