Local government boosts Breezeline's rural Maryland broadband expansion

July 12, 2022
The U.S. cable MSO will extend broadband to more than 500 homes and businesses via a new $4.6 million state and local funding initiative.

U.S. cable MSO Breezeline says it has partnered with state and county officials to improve broadband services in the Maryland counties of Cecil, St. Mary’s, and Queen Anne’s. The state’s Office of Statewide Broadband will supply most of the funding for the initiative. Breezeline expects to serve 524 homes and businesses in the three counties under the project.

“We are pleased to partner with Breezeline and the State of Maryland to address the connectivity needs of rural communities,” commented St. Mary’s County Commissioner President Randy Guy. “St. Mary’s County has undertaken a strategic approach to improving the county broadband infrastructure by leveraging available grants to bring broadband to otherwise hard-to-reach areas of our communities.”

Work on the expansion project will begin after grant agreements are executed with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The cable MSO expects to have infrastructure deployment completed in late 2023 in Cecil and St. Mary’s counties and the following summer in Queen Anne’s.

The project is expected to cost $4.3 million.

The state has committed to contribute $3.68 million, with Breezeline putting up $347,000, and the three counties adding a total of $309,000.

The grant applications were submitted through the Maryland Network Infrastructure Grant Program and the state’s Neighborhood Connect Broadband Funding Program.

Separately, Breezeline also partnered with the St. Mary's County Board of Education to receive a grant of $339,000 grant from the Maryland Emergency Education Relief (MEER) grant program to help connect another 23 student households in Maryland.

“We are excited to partner with local county officials and the state to extend our broadband reach even further into these communities,” concluded William T. Newborg, director of grants and funding for Breezeline. “We look forward to bringing the performance and reliability of high-speed broadband to these rural Maryland communities to support work-from-home, telemedicine, education, and other vital needs.”