Maryland Wants More Time on Broadband Map Challenges

Comcast was the big winner of rural broadband funding announced recently by the state of Maryland, Telecompetitor has learned. Ten other providers – primarily local fiber operators — also will receive funding.

Eleven out of 18 jurisdictions that received funding chose Comcast as the sole or partial funding recipient, according to information provided to Telecompetitor by the state in response to an inquiry from us.  The funding will cover some of the costs of making high-speed broadband available to locations that currently lack service.

As Telecompetitor reported yesterday, the 18 jurisdictions include 17 counties and Baltimore. Most jurisdictions will receive $1.1 million, although one county will receive somewhat less.

The Maryland broadband funding came through the state’s Home Stretch for Difficult to Serve Properties Program. A total of $19.6 million was awarded in this round.

Comcast is the sole broadband provider to receive funding in Baltimore and in six counties. The company will share funding with other providers in four other counties.

Two other major providers – Breezeline and Charter – will receive relatively small amounts of funding. Both companies were chosen for just one county each on a shared basis with other providers.

Only one other company will be the sole provider in more than one county. Local fiber broadband provider ThinkBig will be the sole provider in two counties.

Other entities that will receive funding are mostly local fiber providers.

The full list of entities slated to receive funding for broadband builds includes:

  • Breezeline (1 jurisdiction on a shared basis)
  • Charter (1 jurisdiction on a shared basis)
  • Choptank Fiber (sole provider in 1 jurisdiction, provider on a shared basis in 4 others)
  • Comcast (sole provider in 7 jurisdictions, provider on a shared basis in 4 others)
  • Easton (sole provider in 1 jurisdiction)
  • QCOL (sole provider in 1 jurisdiction)
  • Queen Anne’s (sole provider in 1 jurisdiction)
  • Simple Fiber (2 jurisdictions on a shared basis)
  • Talkie (4 jurisdictions on a shared basis)
  • ThinkBig (sole provider in 2 jurisdictions)

Information about the specific jurisdictions for which the providers won funding can be found at this link.

The funding can be used to cover no more than 75% of project costs. Jurisdictions or the providers doing the builds are required to cover at least 25% of the costs.

Funding is expected to make service available to 2,400 unserved households.

Eligible locations are those lacking service at speeds of 100 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream with latency at or below 50ms. Funded deployments must support service at 100 Mbps symmetrical speeds (although some exceptions may be made).

Additional information about Maryland broadband, including links to state funding resources, awards made, state specific Telecompetitor coverage and more, can be found on the Telecompetitor Broadband Nation webpage for the state.

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