Title: Maryland Seeks Public Input on Statewide Broadband Plan
Introduction: Maryland Governor Wes Moore has announced the opening of the public comment period for the state’s broadband infrastructure plan. The plan, which will utilize $267 million in federal funding, aims to deploy broadband across the state and bridge the digital divide. Maryland’s digital equity plan, developed by the statewide broadband office, outlines a five-year roadmap to provide citizens with access to affordable and reliable internet, as well as the resources to navigate the digital landscape.
Details of Maryland’s Broadband Plan:
Maryland’s broadband plan, developed by the statewide broadband office, focuses on closing the digital divide and ensuring digital equity for all residents. The plan aims to equip citizens with the knowledge and resources to access online resources, protect their privacy and security, and succeed in the digital age. The public comment period, required by President Joseph Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will remain open until December 2, allowing residents to provide feedback on the plan.
Governor Moore’s Commitment to Broadband Access:
Governor Moore emphasized the importance of high-speed internet access as an essential tool for Marylanders to succeed. He expressed his commitment to ensuring that every single Maryland resident has access to affordable and reliable internet, along with the necessary resources to connect. The state’s five-year plans serve as a roadmap to achieve this goal. The governor’s office highlighted that Maryland’s Office of Statewide Broadband has already invested over $300 million in broadband infrastructure and equity programs, resulting in 52,000 previously unserved homes and businesses now having high-speed internet access.
Broadband’s Role in Equitable Economic Outcomes:
Jake Day, who leads the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, emphasized the critical role of broadband in producing equitable economic outcomes. He stated that through the strategic deployment of funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s investment in Maryland’s broadband programs, the state will be able to close much of the digital divide and resolve existing inequities.
How to Participate and Provide Feedback:
Residents of Maryland can review the state’s broadband plans and provide comments on the state’s website. The public comment period is an opportunity for citizens to have their voices heard and contribute to shaping the future of broadband access in Maryland.
Maryland’s broadband infrastructure plan, backed by federal funding, aims to bring high-speed internet access to all residents and bridge the digital divide. The public comment period provides an opportunity for Marylanders to provide feedback and contribute to the state’s efforts in achieving digital equity. By investing in broadband infrastructure and equity programs, Maryland is taking significant steps towards ensuring that all citizens have access to affordable and reliable internet, empowering them to succeed in the digital age.
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