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Maryland secures $267 million for broadband expansion

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ANNAPOLIS, MD—The state of Maryland has received approval for a plan that will make $267.7 million in federal money available for the deployment of broadband internet.

The governor’s office announced on Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration has approved the state’s Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment plan. The plan will use the money to create a broadband availability challenge process to target areas in the greatest need of high-speed internet access.

The state hopes that by addressing connectivity gaps in rural and underserved areas, it will be able to empower communities and help them fully participate in the digital world. Businesses of all sizes will benefit from improved internet access, while students and workers will have the opportunity to enhance their learning and work opportunities.

Improving public health and safety by improving connectivity for emergency response systems and communications, as well as expanding access to telehealth services are also expected to be positive outcomes of the initiative.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will be responsible for distributing the funds, and they have been tasked with creating a comprehensive plan to achieve the goal of providing affordable and equitable broadband access to all residents. The office has previously invested more than $270 million into broadband infrastructure and programs, which have made high-speed internet access available to an estimated 52,000 previously unserved homes and businesses statewide.

The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment plan is part of the White House’s broader “Internet for All” initiative, which aims to make $42.45 billion in grants available to states, territories, and the District of Columbia, with the goal of improving internet access across the country.

This article was written with the assistance of AI and reviewed by a human editor.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

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