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Anne Arundel to be the Only County in Maryland to Offer High-Speed Broadband to Majority of Residents, Including Those in Rural Areas
Innovation is Leading to Southern Anne Arundel Connection to Broadband
Annapolis, MD (September 23, 2013) – Anne Arundel County, as part of the Inter-County Broadband Network (ICBN) in Maryland, did what no other County in Maryland has done – paved the way for all of its residents to have access to high-speed broadband; this connection will include residents in the most populated areas to those in the southernmost rural community.
Within the next several days, Broadstripe, LLC, will be able to connect approximately 700 residents in Southern Anne Arundel County. This “last-mile” connection means that nearly all of the County’s residents who choose to have broadband connection will have it.
Anne Arundel County was one of nine jurisdictions to participate in ICBN, funded partially through a federal stimulus grant, to provide lower-cost, higher-speed connectivity to County government facilities, schools and libraries, and to provide lower cost opportunities for commercial providers seeking to offer or enhance their own Internet and other service offerings within the County. Prior to the construction of this network, studies found that residents in that region were completely unserved by any form of wireline broadband service.
“We often talk about Anne Arundel County’s technology deficits,” said County Executive Neuman, “But when it comes to broadband accessibility, Anne Arundel County is not just doing well, we are a leader and model for other counties who want to know how to do broadband connectivity well. I applaud John Lyons, our cable administrator, who found a way to provide access to broadband to our historically unserved residents. For those rural homes, schools, libraries and businesses that hoped to have the same broadband access as the County’s larger and more populated communities, it will soon be a reality for them.”
In total, the ICBN program constructed approximately 800 miles of fiber optics to nearly 700 schools, libraries, and other “community anchor institutions” throughout central Maryland, including Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, Carroll, Harford, Baltimore and Prince George’s counties as well as Baltimore City and the city of Annapolis.
Anne Arundel County, however, took the initiative to go a step further in building fiber optic connections to a 30-square mile area that will allow for broadband connectivity directly to residents, and the County owns its own fiber infrastructure as part of this network. Because the County owns its own fiber infrastructure, this unique position allows for the quick deployment by providers to activate a portion of the network capacity for residential high-speed Internet and other services.
“We are happy to work closely with Anne Arundel County to provide service to our neighbors to the south and look forward to expanding the community we serve,” said John Bjorn, CEO of Broadstripe. “We are a local company who has always focused on providing value and great service to our community. It is thrilling to be a part of an effort that will provide the families of South County more choice in Internet, phone, and TV.”
An event to celebrate the last-mile connection will be held at 10 a.m., September 27 in the rear of Southern High School, 4400 Solomons Island Road, Harwood.