Cecil County Internet Provider Partner Awarded Broadband Grants
“With these recent awards, my administration has led the way on over $23.4 million in broadband projects that have connected—or will connect in the near future—over 2,130 Cecil County addresses that previously lacked broadband service.”
CECIL COUNTY INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER PARTNERS AWARDED BROADBAND GRANTS
Elkton, Maryland – Two Cecil County Government internet service provider (ISP) partners have received significant grant awards from the Maryland Office of Statewide Broadband. Verizon and Choptank Fiber were awarded a combined $2.9 million from the State’s FY23 Network Infrastructure Grant Program.
Building on the success of last year’s six “Neighborhood Connect” broadband grant awards, Choptank Fiber will extend fiber-based broadband service to 90 additional addresses in southern Cecil County. The $1.4 million project will be funded via a combination of the State grant award ($801,017), Choptank matching funds ($526,983), and Cecil County Government matching funds ($72,000). The locations scheduled to receive service include addresses on Augustine Herman Highway, Cassidy Wharf Road, Cecilton Warwick Road, Church Road, Crystal Beach Road, Grove Neck Road, and Sandy Bottom Road.
Choptank Fiber offers broadband service to residential and commercial customers, with symmetrical speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to 2.5 Gbps. Active in the Earleville, Cecilton, and Warwick zip codes, Choptank Fiber has expanded broadband service to over 300 previously unserved addresses in the past year, with service in the Strawberry Hill, Budds Landing, Joe Meltz Road, and Knight Island regions of southern Cecil County.
Verizon’s project will extend fiber to 354 unserved addresses in northern and western Cecil County. The $4.8 million project, which will bring Verizon’s flagship “Verizon Fios” service to Cecil County for the first time, will be funded via a combination of the State grant award ($2.1 million), Verizon matching funds ($2.45 million), and Cecil County Government matching funds ($250,000). With a three-year construction schedule—from grant award to installation completion—locations planned to receive service are primarily located in the Conowingo, Colora, Port Deposit, and Perryville zip codes.
“Verizon is excited to participate in Maryland’s FY23 Network Infrastructure Grant Program,” said Tony Lewis, Verizon vice-president of state government policy. “This grant will assist Verizon in the deployment of its all-fiber network and Fios Home Internet service in Cecil County. We appreciate the leadership of Governor Wes Moore, the Office of Statewide Broadband, the State legislature, Cecil County Executive Danielle Hornberger and other leaders in the County for moving swiftly in using both federal and state funding for broadband deployment, a partnership that will help close the digital divide.”
“Within the past three years, we have made tremendous strides in closing the digital divide for those who lack broadband,” noted Cecil County Executive Danielle Hornberger. “With these recent awards, my administration has led the way on over $23.4 million in broadband projects that have connected—or will connect in the near future—over 2,130 Cecil County addresses that previously lacked broadband service.”
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 both successful internet service provider partners on varied technical details.