#MACoCon Recap — Broadening Broadband: What’s Next?

A panel of experts shared best practices, strategies, and opportunities for ensuring every Marylander has access to affordable, robust, reliable, and secure broadband services.

The new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act aims to ensure that every American can access affordable, reliable, high-speed internet service. In Maryland, counties continue to develop approaches to this vexing issue, while federal funds through the State will complement local and private-sector initiatives.

MACo adopted “Build out Broadband” among its top legislative initiatives for 2021 and supported multiple successful initiatives. However, challenges remain as counties work with state, federal, and private sector partners to leverage unprecedented federal investments by accelerating service to underserved areas.

At the MACo Summer Conference, Crown Castle sponsored an expert panel discussion on best practices, strategies, and opportunities for overcoming hurdles to deployment, like securing easements from property owners, supply chain issues, and barriers to last-mile connectivity.

Senator Brian Feldman led the conversation and moderated an informative Q&A at the “Broadening Broadband: What’s Next?” general session.

Panel speakers included:

  • Kenrick Gordon, Director, Office of Statewide Broadband, Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development
  • Mitsuko Herrera, ultraMontgomery Director, Montgomery County
  • Karmen Rajamani, Vice President, Government Affairs, Crown Castle

Kenrick Gordon provided an update on statewide connectivity, a brief overview of funding opportunities, and explained how the Office of Statewide Broadband works with counties, nonprofits, and the private sector to accelerate deployment across the state.

Mitsuko Herrera described ongoing challenges ensuring everyone can access quality, affordable, high-speed internet service. Director Herrera also provided best practices for counties to ensure all residents and businesses can participate in the digital economy.

Karmen Rajamani explained how Crown Castle is partnering with counties to overcome hurdles to deployment and described new ideas, resources, and best practices for counties to add the capacity they need to attract businesses and keep residents connected.

The session was on August 17, 2022, at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: