Craig Settles sits down, across the country, to interview Maryland's Lori Sherwood, the Program Director for One Maryland. One Maryland is a stimulus-funded project bringing fiber-optic broadband to every county in the state. We have written about several counties using these connections to start building muni fiber networks (see our stories tagged with Maryland). One of the partners is the Maryland Broadband Cooperative, which focuses on middle mile connections also.
Listen to the interview:
This project is expected to start saving the state some $30 million a year while greeting increasing the capacity to essential community institutions. Many of these institutions will undoubtedly be moving away from incumbent T1 and similar connections that have been gouging the taxpayers for years by grossly overcharging for what they provide. However, we do have the same concerns about this project as we recently noted in North Carolina's MCNC project, namely that statewide networks connecting libraries and schools take potential anchor tenants off networks that could be built by communities to serve everyone. Without these anchor tenants, it will be more difficult to finance a network available universally.
Maryland officials have announced that the state is doling out $92 million in new broadband grants to expand access to affordable broadband. The latest round of funding was made possible via the Connect Maryland Network Infrastructure Grant Program, and will help expand broadband access to 14,500 unserved locations statewide.
This week we are giving you a double dose of our new Building For Digital Equity podcast. Episode 4 features Kim Ilinon and Ella Silvas, two Interactive Media Design students from the University of Washington-Bothell. And in Episode 5 we talk with Susan Corbett, Executive Director of the National Digital Equity Center, about how she went from being the owner of a small ISP in rural Maine to a national digital equity advocate.
Digital Marin, currently housed within the Marin County Information Services and Technology Department, is coordinating a fiber project and leaning towards a municipally-owned, open-access solution modeled after Ammon’s standout network in Idaho.
In the second episode of our new Building for Digital Equity podcast, Gina Birch talks about how she trained digital navigators at the Ashbury Senior Computer Community Center in Cleveland to help enroll eligible households into the Affordable Connectivity Program, and why working with trusted messengers and organizations is key