Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Maryland local governments team up for broadband stimulus funding

Several Maryland local government entities are pooling their efforts to get "shovel ready" to get dibs on about $100 million of the $7.2 billion earmarked for broadband telecommunications infrastructure buildout in the federal economic stimulus package, the Baltimore Sun reports:

One team, the One Maryland Broadband Plan, has been working at this for over a year. It includes Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Prince George's and Montgomery counties, plus Baltimore City and Annapolis

Another group of rural counties covering the Eastern Shore, Southern and Western Maryland is also preparing to apply for money through the Salisbury-based Maryland Broadband Co-operative, a private nonprofit created three years ago by the Maryland General Assembly and funded by state and federal funds.

"I personally feel we're one of the few states in the country shovel-ready," said Patrick Mitchell, the co-op's president and CEO, who said he hopes for 250 miles of cable in rural areas where companies like Verizon are loath to go.

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