The state of Delaware is investing $56 million in Broadband Infrastructure Grants to begin making high-speed, wired broadband connections available statewide.
The announcement, made jointly by Delaware Gov. John Carney and State Chief Information Officer Jason, also confirmed that Comcast, Verizon and Mediacom will receive the grant money. The state said in a press release that these three companies will extend their existing coverage areas to serve more than 11,600 Delaware homes and businesses which do not have access to high-speed, wired broadband service. Construction is expected to begin shortly.
The press release explains that Comcast will receive $33.1 million, Verizon will receive $11.8 million, and Mediacom will receive the remaining $11.1 million.
“Stable, high-speed internet connection is important for all Delaware families, students, and businesses,” said Gov. Carney. “Now, with the availability of Federal funds, we are on our way to giving Delawareans across the state access to connect to school, work, health care, and more. Thank you to the Department of Technology and Information working toward our goal of being the first state to connect every residence and business to broadband internet.”
Work to expand broadband access will take place over the next 36 months and will involve building out and extending current infrastructure to deliver fixed, wireline internet access with transmission speeds that, at a minimum, provide 100 megabits per second download and 20 megabits per second upload.
“Expanding access to reliable broadband service has long been a priority for Delaware,” said CIO Jason Clarke. “Thanks to our ability to leverage funding made available from Congress and the President and with the support of Governor Carney, we are excited to execute on the strategy of our stakeholders and our well-positioned vendor community to close the digital divide in Delaware.”
The Delaware Department of Technology and Information will use the interactive map on the state’s Broadband Hub to provide expansion project updates and real-time data.
The grant funding covers up to 75 percent of the capital construction costs, with the internet service providers contributing a minimum 25 percent match. The governor’s office said that vendor selections were made based on an efficient edge-out strategy extending the services of current vendors to close broadband gaps as outlined in the Delaware Broadband Strategic Plan. The governor’s office noted that the strategic plan was developed by a diverse group of stakeholders with representation from the public and private sector across the state.
“We are thrilled to be given this opportunity to expand Mediacom’s fiber network and increase high-speed broadband access within Delaware,” said Chris Lord, Mediacom’s Director of Government Partnerships. “The staff at the Delaware Department of Technology and Information created an amazingly efficient application process that effectively utilizes public resources to encourage private investment while leveraging existing fiber infrastructure.”