In May 2020, the BAC recommended to the QAC Commissioners strategic uses for federal CARES Act funds made available during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to June 2020 approval of broadband expansion to unserved areas in District 1. This project was completed at the end of December 2020.
CARES Act funding also enabled building a public wireless network on public lands, parks and libraries, to bring broadband to additional unserved and underserved communities. This project, in partnership with Breezeline (Formerly Atlantic Broadband), was cut short due to staffing cuts at the company, and the only project completed was a Wi-Fi network at the 4-H Park.
In January 2021, the BAC requested approval for submission of nine applications for a state Neighborhood Connect Broadband Grant to expand existing broadband networks for QAC’s three fiber ISPs: Breezeline (Formerly Atlantic Broadband),, ThinkBig, and Talkie Communications. Six areas were approved in addition to an infrastructure grant made by Choptank Electric.
In September of 2021 the Rural Development Opportunity Fund winners were announced which means that over the next 10 years Talkie Communications will build to the locations in the attached map. For more information regarding this Federally funded program click here.
In November 2021 the BAC worked with 4 ISP's and made recommendations to Commissioners to support expansion to 17 remaining unserved areas though the Connect Maryland FY22 Network Infrastructure Grant. In May 2022, these applications were challenged by one of these ISPs who as part of the challenge is required to build to a portion of the areas that were part of the application. In addition Choptank Electric was awarded a State infrastructure grant to build to a large area.
In November of 2022 the BAC recommended the support of a build to the remaining unserved areas via the MD Connect Maryland FY23 Network Infrastructure Grant which was challenged by another ISP who will build to a portion of these areas.
In June 2023 at the recommendation of the BAC the Commissioners approved $250K of funding to be used for a Long Driveway Grant program. They also approved the use of $187.5K for support of a grant opportunity for expansion of broadband infrastructure through the Rural Maryland Council. Pending approval 12 unserved areas will be served.
For more information regarding grants and other resource and reporting information please review the Office of Statewide Broadband website.