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Prince George's County Breaks Ground on Inter-County Broadband Network | News

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Prince George's County Breaks Ground on Inter-County Broadband Network
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Prince George's County Breaks Ground on Inter-County Broadband Network

 

This month is off to a productive start in Maryland as Prince George’s County executives broke ground August 1st,  for a construction project that will lay broadband fiber across Prince George’s County and the other jurisdictions that make up the Inter-County Broadband Network (ICBN). 

This project is in accordance with President Obama’s initiative for 98 percent of Americans to have access to at least a landline broadband by 2020, with 100 million homes connected to "affordable" 100Mbps service called for wireless broadband Internet expansion well beyond the goals previously set by the FCC's National Broadband Plan. The President believes an Inter-County Broadband Network will help boost the economic recovery through increased infrastructure spending.

The fiber will span over one hundred miles, connecting 119 sites within Prince George’s County to one another and to the network as a whole

The ICBN is part of the One Maryland Broadband Network (OMBN), a partnership between public and private agencies across the state that includes the Maryland Department of Information Technology and the Prince George’s County Office of Information Technology and Communications (OITC). Last September, the One Maryland Broadband Network won $115,240,581 in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

$72 million will be used to lay broadband fiber in the ten Central Maryland jurisdictions that make up the ICBN: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties and the cities of Baltimore and Annapolis.  The entire project is expected to connect over 1,000 community sites statewide and create 2,000 jobs over the next three years.

The sites chosen in Prince George's County are schools, public safety facilities and anchor institutions, such as libraries and government buildings.  Based on a labor intensive and unique engineering design process, Prince George’s County will build shorter fiber runs in close proximity to as many key buildings as possible, maximizing construction.  The majority of the County’s sites are clustered in communities where development is most dense.  

Project Chronology

March, 2009: Initial collaborative inter-jurisdictional meeting.

August 20, 2009: Deadline for grant application. 

September 17, 2010: Notification to State of Maryland of grant award – the 3rd largest in the country.

August 1, 2011: Ceremonial groundbreaking to begin project. 

August 31, 2012: 67% project completion anticipated. 

August 31, 2013: Anticipated final completion date.

 

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