Business, Politics, Sci-Tech

County Executive Olszewski announces over $2 million in grant awards to expand rural broadband access

TOWSON, MD—County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Monday announced that Baltimore County will receive $2.25 million in grant awards from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and administered by the Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband to significantly expand access to rural broadband in Baltimore County.

Baltimore County and Comcast are expected to expand broadband access to nearly 900 residences across northwest Baltimore County.

“We’re committed to expanding broadband to every corner of our County and this award is a critical step in providing needed infrastructure and service necessary to expand rural broadband access for Baltimore County families,” Olszewski said. “We look forward to continuing to engage in a productive partnership with the Governor’s Office, Comcast and our communities to further expand the County’s ability to efficiently increase access.”

In 2020, Baltimore County was awarded $38,556 in grant funding from the Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband for participation in the 2020 Rural Broadband Pilot Program to support 24 residences in northern Baltimore County.

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The new grant funding, which will be matched by funding from Comcast and the County, will expand the scope of the pilot to an additional 900 residences. This work is expected to begin later this year.

“We are proud to invest further in Maryland to bring our services to unserved areas of Baltimore County and connect more residents and businesses in need of broadband,” said Michael Parker, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Beltway Region. “Technology is a powerful driver of innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth, and we’re committed to connecting as many residents as possible to help individuals and communities fully participate in the digital economy.”

This is the latest action from the Olszewski administration to increase access to high-speed internet for residents, including efforts to sponsor six months of Comcast’s Internet Essentials service for nearly 11,000 households across Baltimore County and expand public Wi-Fi availability at nearly 50 locations across the county.

The County will explore additional options in the coming years to continue eliminating gaps in coverage for residents in rural areas without broadband access.

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