OAKLAND — Declaration Neworks Group, a broadband service provider partner with Garrett County, will be reiumbursed by the Federal Communications Commission for its efforts to accelerate broadband build-out to residents who lack access to broadband.
Last year, DNG identified 2,454 Garrett County addresses to serve through this funding award, which requires that DNG serve 40% of the identified locations by the end of the third year and an additional 20% of the locations in each subsequent year until completion in year six.
The Maryland Office of Rural Broadband recently awarded Garrett County a $60,000 grant to be matched with local funds to determine address level broadband availability data to be gathered through a custom-designed, web-based software solution. The county’s consultant, CTC Technology and Energy, will use the award to proceed with the data collection and feasibility study. The information collected will be used to help create a plan to reach as much of the county’s unserved population as possible.
“The service availability map for the county can end up looking a bit like Swiss cheese with unserviceable areas; but, we are ever increasing our efforts to reach as many potential customers as we can. The Board of County Commissioners continues to commit resources to the ongoing development of broadband infrastructure through innovative collaboration with internet service providers,” said Kevin Null, Garrett County administrator.
The rural infrastructure development in Garrett County delivers broadband internet access to 75% to 80% of occupied addresses. The feasibility study will further refine the estimate.