Choptank Granted Another $15.9 million for Broadband Work
DENTON, MD – Choptank Electric Cooperative and its subsidiary, Choptank Fiber, were awarded almost $16 million from the state’s FY2023 Network Infrastructure Program to continue broadband construction on the Eastern Shore. The new grants will enable Choptank to offer high-speed internet service to more than 3,300 additional unserved homes and businesses in Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, Wicomico, and Worcester counties.
“I appreciate that Governor Moore and his team recognize the unique progress Choptank is making as we connect thousands of families to broadband service,” said Mike Malandro, President & CEO.
“With this tremendous new grant, we will continue to change lives and bring the unserved into the world of broadband.”
Since its first connection in April of 2021, Choptank Fiber has made broadband internet service available to more than 4,000 previously unserved households and small businesses on the Eastern Shore. With the 2023 grants added to the FY21 and FY22 grants, $52.7 million in state and local funding has been leveraged to support an $82 million project to reach almost 10,000 unserved families in seven counties over four years.
“When we created the broadband affiliate, we expected our buildout to take much longer,” explained Malandro. “Financial support from government partners at the state and local level and our ability to leverage those funds is allowing us to stock fiber supplies and hire local contractors to deliver faster than any other company on the Shore."
Choptank is one of only five companies on the Eastern Shore that has been awarded funding in the 2023 round.
“Our progress over the last year has allowed us to expand internet offerings without raising prices,” said Tim McGaha, Choptank Fiber’s Vice President. “We upgraded our mid-level package from 250 to 450 Mbps and we are giving all customers free access to CommandIQ, a suite of protective products that allows families to personalize their home Wi-Fi systems with limited screen times and network-level security on all connected devices.”
In response to customer requests, Choptank has also launched Choptank Voice, a phone service that operates over the internet. With a VOIP enabled phone and a low monthly subscription rate, customers can cut the connection with traditional landline phone services. More details are available on the Choptank Fiber website.
Residents are encouraged to pre-register to be notified of broadband service availability at www.choptankfiber.com.