(Photo by Flickr user Gavin St. Ours, used under a Creative Commons license)
Maryland’s Eastern Shore residents stand to benefit from expanded reliable broadband connectivity thanks to recent boosts in government funding toward a network provider.
The Maryland Department of Commerce announced support for Bloosurf LLC, a high-speed wireless network provider based in Salisbury, just after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) awarded Bloosurf more than $4.2 million to expand high-speed internet throughout Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties.
According to the company, the FCC financing, which is dispersed over 10 years, is the “single largest federal investment for last- mile service” in the history of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Bloosurf aims to add six new locations with the funding, serving hundreds of residents, businesses and schools throughout the shore.
“As a Maryland company, we’re proud to partner with the state to address one of the most important needs in rural Maryland, expanding access to affordable, high-quality internet service for homes and businesses,” Paul Carliner, president of Bloosurf, said in a statement.
In an effort to aid Bloosurf’s service expansion, the state has provided a loan guarantee through the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA). According to Carliner, the expansion seeks to reach over 100,000 homes and businesses.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s administration also recently contributed to network providing expansion as it opened up $9.9 million in funding in an effort to bring reliable, affordable connectivity to rural communities. This marked the administration’s first step of a five-year plan to provide 225,000 Marylanders in rural areas with better internet access.
In another expansion move, FirstNet, the nationwide wireless communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community, recently established a cell site in Talbot County’s Tilghman Island to bring increased coverage to first responders across Maryland.
These moves demonstrate recent efforts to close the broadband connectivity gap in rural communities, a divide which is prevalent in several states. Despite these recent moves, Maryland appears to still be early in the process of these initiatives.
For Bloosurf, the support in Maryland follows a public-private partnership in Delaware that was announced earlier this year, our sister site Technical.ly Delaware reported.-30-
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