DENTON, MD – Choptank Electric Cooperative and its subsidiary, Choptank Fiber LLC, finalized a deal to acquire thousands of broadband fiber customers from Bay Country Communications over the next 10 years. The deal sets up a partnership between Choptank and BCC whereby Bay Country will continue to serve its cable customers and will construct fiber services to customers already in the construction pipeline. Choptank will acquire broadband accounts as they come online.
“This arrangement allows two quality companies that are dedicated to their communities to do what they do best for customers,” explained Mike Malandro, President and CEO for Choptank Electric Cooperative. “Bay Country Communications will continue to serve its tv cable customers and will fulfill its fiber broadband construction commitments. Choptank Fiber will take the fiber customers and provide state-of-the-art broadband service once the connection to the home is made.”
“This new partnership with Choptank will bring new investment in backbone fiber and equipment to give Bay County Communications customers an ever-increasing quality of broadband service,” said Scott Shilling, CEO of Bay Country Communications, a Cambridge-based TV, phone and internet service provider.
Choptank Fiber began providing broadband service to some Bay County fiber broadband customers in April of 2023. Choptank Fiber will upgrade BCC internet customers to Wi-Fi 6 – the newest technology available – and will provide CommandIQ and its suite of internet management services at no additional fee.
“Choptank Fiber does not offer TV services but does have the fastest internet speeds available on the Eastern Shore and can accommodate Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone services for customers coming over from BCC with that service,” explained Tim McGaha, Vice President of Technical Service for Choptank. “With giga-fast internet speeds and no monthly data caps, customers can contract with any streaming service available, watch all their favorite sports and shows, and will likely save money in the process.”
Choptank Fiber recently increased its mid-level speeds for all customers at no additional charge. Customers who have subscribed to the 250 Mbps internet speed were automatically bumped up to 450 Mbps at the same price.
“Choptank Fiber is committed to serving our community, just like Choptank Electric Cooperative has served members on the Eastern Shore for more than 80 years,” said Mike Malandro. “We will continually put profits right back into the company to improve our broadband offerings and make service available to all the unserved. This partnership with Bay County Communications helps make that happen faster.”
Choptank Fiber and Bay Country Communications are members of the Maryland Broadband Cooperative, formed to advance broadband access in rural Maryland. Through MdBC, Choptank and BCC have access to world-class backbone and middle mile fiber under the private/public partnership of the Maryland Broadband Cooperative.
Choptank Electric Cooperative and Choptank Fiber have been awarded over $50 million from the state’s Network Infrastructure & Neighborhood Connect programs over the last 3 years for broadband construction on the Eastern Shore. Over the last 18 months, Choptank has built-out broadband infrastructure and offered service to more than 4,000 unserved locations in its footprint.
Choptank Fiber, LLC was founded in the fall of 2020 at the request of the Cooperative’s members. Choptank Fiber is currently providing internet service to households in Caroline, Cecil, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties. The new partnership with BCC will add Dorchester and Talbot counties to the service list. Choptank Fiber expects to offer service to at least 3,000 new locations annually. Interested customers may pre-register to be notified of service availability at www.choptankfiber.com.
About Choptank Electric: Choptank Electric Cooperative Inc., is a not-for-profit, member-owned, electric distribution company located on Maryland's Eastern Shore serving over 55,000 consumer-members. Choptank Electric Cooperative exists to provide reliable and cost-effective electricity that improves the quality of life for our member-owners. For more information about Choptank Electric Cooperative, visit www.choptankelectric.coop or call our Member Service Center at 1.877.892.0001.
About Choptank Fiber: Choptank Fiber, LLC is a wholly owned broadband subsidiary of Choptank Electric Cooperative. Choptank Fiber's goal is to install true Gigabit broadband service with no data caps one community at a time until we serve all unserved members on the Eastern Shore.
About Bay Country Communications: Bay Country Communications has been proudly serving the Eastern Shore since 1989. We are committed to providing high quality solutions at affordable prices. We train our employees to approach customer service with purpose, empathy, next level helpfulness, and delight. We offer solutions to fit your residential, government, and business needs; TV on all your devices, Phone, Broadband Internet, professionally managed Wi-Fi, Advanced Fiber connectivity, and advertising. We’re doing everything we can to provide you with the services you need at a reasonable price. Take comfort, unlike many other places, you save money because you have a choice of providers.