Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski joined Comcast to announce a new $7.4 million grant from the Maryland Office of Statewide Broadband’s Connect Maryland Network Infrastructure Grant Program, which will support the expansion of high-speed broadband service to 450 additional homes in rural areas in northern Baltimore County.
In combination with prior grant-funded expansion efforts and ongoing strong cooperation between the County and Comcast to provide broadband and cable access to other unserved homes — Baltimore County will be able to bring high-speed internet access to about 99 percent of all area homes which initially lacked service.
“We are fully committed to bridging the digital divide in Baltimore County, and this generous investment in connectivity infrastructure further expands access to high-speed internet to nearly every home in Northern Baltimore County,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “This partnership with the state and Comcast is essential in ensuring residents have access to critical technology and the digital economy by providing universal broadband.”
Shortly after taking office, the Olszewski administration determined that over 2,500 homes in northern Baltimore County could not access reliable wired broadband internet service. Since then, the administration, in partnership with Comcast, has prioritized expanding rural broadband infrastructure.
In 2021, Baltimore County and Comcast announced a first phase of expansion, which will support nearly 900 homes and is expected to be completed this summer.
In 2022, Baltimore County and Comcast announced a second phase, which will support nearly 1,000 additional homes and is expected to be completed in 2024.
“Today’s announcement is a major milestone for Baltimore County, and we are excited to connect more residents to the game-changing power of broadband,” said Michael Parker, Senior Vice President for Comcast’s Beltway Region. “We have a shared mission with the county and state of Maryland to bridge the digital divide – and this partnership is a critical step in getting there.”
With this new $7.4 million grant through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Office of Statewide Broadband, Baltimore County and Comcast will provide broadband expansion to nearly 450 additional homes. This project is expected to be completed in 2025.
Baltimore County, the State of Maryland, and Comcast have dedicated over $23 million since 2019 through the Connect Maryland initiative to help close the rural digital divide in northern Baltimore County. The County will identify additional funds to provide access to the remaining homes in the coming years.
At the MACo Summer Conference session, “Broadening Broadband – A Collaborative Approach,” an expert panel will break down new state and federal funding opportunities, best practices for overcoming hurdles to deployment, and opportunities for collaboration to coordination to expand access to unserved residents across the state.
The 2023 MACo Summer Conference is August 16-19, 2023, at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland.
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