Delaware lawmakers continue push for expanded broadband access

DELAWARE – Tuesday night, Delaware State Senator Brian Pettyjohn held a virtual webinar looking to tackle the issue of access to high-speed internet in the first state.

Back in the fall, Governor Carney made a commitment of $110 million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funding to close to digital divide.

Current providers offered within the program include Comcast, Verizon, and Mediacom. Senator Pettyjohn says the goal is to have every mile across the first state connected.

The big question many residents wanted answered was when areas still lacking service we’re going to get connected. “Next week, we’ll be able to populate the addresses that are on our list and which service providers will ultimately provide service to them,” Delaware Department of Technology & Information’s Jason Clarke said. “As each of these statements of works gets completed and the crews are launched, we will then start to update those address with work has begun and here’s an expected completion date.”

Many resident were also unable to chose their service providers in certain areas due to the cost to run lines.

Those lines are not only costly, but some say ruins their yards when installing them. It’s a concern tech experts say they hear and are addressing. “This is a large project for all 3 vendors. This is more than they ever encountered. Its kind of a one time example,” Clarke said. “They are very accommodating to our requests to go back out and fix any potential problems and other things that have transpired.”

Right now, if you’re in one location you’ll have the same provider. Experts say that could potentially change in the future.

Senator Pettyjohn also adds while multiple service providers aren’t currently being offered, the priority is to make sure that all are connected to the internet.

If you are experiencing problems with service, you’re asked to contact your provider.

Programs offering internet access for low income households are still available and currently service thousands of residents in the first state.

 

Categories: Delaware, Local News, Money, Tech