MIKULSKI, CARDIN ANNOUNCE $3.2 MILLION IN ONGOING FIGHT TO BRING BROADBAND TO EASTERN SHORE
WASHINGTON, D.C. –
Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.), today announced $3.2 million in federal funding for the Maryland Broadband Cooperative to help bring high-speed internet access to the Eastern Shore businesses.
The money was administered through a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant.
“I have pledged to do everything I can to keep the Eastern Shore competitive. Bringing broadband to the Shore means economic development, job growth and innovation, whether you are a small business, a school, a major employer or a NASA Center,” said Senator Mikulski, Chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee which funds the EDA. “I am proud to announce this funding and I will continue to work with Team Maryland to build a broadband superhighway to the Shore.”
“This project is important because it will create addition jobs and opportunities for businesses on the Eastern Shore,” said Senator Cardin. “I am a strong supporter of this funding because it will enable many rural communities in Maryland to have access to next-generation technologies so they can participate in the global telecommunications network.”
The Maryland Broadband Cooperative will use its $3.2 million to install fiber optic broadband network to serve high technology business on the Eastern Shore.
This will create 1,000 new jobs and generate $117 million in private investment.
As the senior Democrat on the CJS Subcommittee, Senator Mikulski secured a $2 million down payment for the broadband construction as part of the 2006 spending bill.
Despite efforts to include an additional $4 million in the 2007 spending bill to build the next phase of the information superhighway, the bill was not brought up for a final vote by the 109th Congress.
This network will be a major source of future economic development, spurring more job creation and innovation on the Shore.
It will connect NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility, schools, universities, medical centers, businesses and consumers along the entire Shore.
Fiber optic cables will be laid along existing highways from Wallops going north through Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico Counties toward Salisbury.
When completed, the broadband network will cover the entire Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland.