Maryland has joined other states in offering millions in broadband grants.
MD Gov. Larry Hogan announced today that his state’s plan will include more than $127.6 million in broadband grants, which will help provide broadband service to an additional 15,000 households and expand wireless infrastructure for Maryland students and schools.
Many states, including Wisconsin are now releasing funds for broadband expansion. Some programs are funded, at least in part, through programs created in the ARPA and the CARES Act. More federal broadband money will flow to the states once the BEAD program gets underway.
The Maryland grants will come from a combination of state programs:
- The Connect Maryland Network Infrastructure Grant Program, which provides local jurisdictions or their ISP partners between $1 million and $10 million to build new broadband networks to service unserved households. Matching funds are required.
- The Neighborhood Connect Broadband Grant Program, which offers between $50,000 and $500,000 to local jurisdictions and their ISPs to extend existing broadband service to unserved areas.
- The Connected Communities Program, which provides grants of between $25,000 and $250,000 for the construction, deployment, expansion or continuation of Gap Networks and Community Networks designed to address the affordability challenge many low to moderate income household’s face in subscribing for internet service.
- The Maryland Emergency Education Relief Grant, which provides funds of $50,000-$350,000 to K-12 students and related school staff to close the digital divide.
“Last summer, we supercharged our broadband investment with the launch of Connect Maryland, for a total new investment of $400 million for the expansion of broadband access, and to fully address the digital divide for everyone all across our state,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a prepared statement. “As a result of these efforts, broadband is now available to well over 95% of Marylanders, and a new national survey ranked Maryland as the most improved state in America for business and they cited our progress on infrastructure and broadband access as a part of that success. Our goal is to ensure universal broadband to everyone in every single corner of the state. Connect Maryland is the game-changing initiative that is going to help us get there, and it is one more way that we are changing Maryland for the better.”