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Rural Broadband Roundtable held in Hagerstown

Rural Broadband Roundtable held in Hagerstown

HAGERSTOWN, MD (September 5, 2019) – Congressman David Trone and U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, joined with FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks to host a roundtable on rural broadband. The roundtable was held at the BuroBox in Hagerstown, where representatives from each county in the 6th District of Maryland were present to discuss their current use of broadband. This included Allegany, Garrett, Washington, Frederick and Montgomery counties. Kendrick Gordon, director of Maryland Office of Rural Broadband facilitated the roundtable discussion.

Washington County Board of County Commissioners President Jeff Cline, County Administrator Robert Slocum, and staff directors Susan Small of Business Development and Ron Whitt of Information Systems attended on behalf of Washington County. In addition to these representatives, additional local, regional, and statewide stakeholders were in attendance.

During Washington County’s presentation, County Administrator Rob Slocum stated the focus for the County’s broadband can be identified through three main areas: education, equality, and economy.

Congressman Trone has continuously advocated for increased access to rural broadband, which is the reason for this roundtable. In April 2019, the House passed his amendment that would help spur high-speed broadband deployment across Western Maryland. In June, the House passed a bipartisan Trone amendment that would increase funding for grants by $5 million to expand broadband deployment into rural communities that are underserved by private sector investment. The purpose of today’s roundtable was to gather stakeholders from western Maryland to discuss the future of broadband, share available resources from neighboring counties, and discuss innovative solutions for managing rural broadband.

For additional information, please contact Washington County’s Public Relations and Marketing Department at 240-313-2380.

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AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, DIRECTV and Antietam Cable Television have Points of Presence within the county. Washington County is well served and several options are available for broadband services. Resources to help your household find the right internet service plan include InternetProviders.com. Cellular telephone services are available through private local and regional vendors.