South County residents relying on dial-up or DSL Internet access now the option for a faster connection, thanks to a public-private partnership that is making broadband access widely available to local residents.
Part of a federal initiative to bring high-speed Internet access to rural and other underserved communities; One Maryland installed a fiber optic cable throughout South County. The federal government, the state of Maryland, Anne Arundel County and Broadstripe—an Anne Arundel broadband company—are using that cable to bring high-speed Internet and other services to local residents.
“We are locally owned and headquartered in Millersville,” John Bjorn, Broadstripe CEO, said in an interview. “Our commitment to the county is very strong and our desire to do things in the county is very great.”
Since it were chosen as the local service provider, Broadstripe made an infrastructure investment near Southern High School where broadband Internet, telephone and video services will originate. The project will increase the number of residents that Broadstripe services and benefit them financially, but that’s not the only reason the company is glad to be on board for this project.
“We just felt like it was a good thing. When you look at students and their success rates, it really comes down to two primary things—school meal programs and internet access,” Bjorn said.
Broadstripe’s high-speed Internet, phone and video services will be available to roughly 800 homes in South County. The county is still testing the Broadstripe facility in Harwood, but installations have been in progress for about two weeks. So far, Bjorn said, the company and new services have been very well received.
With this fiber optic cable expansion, nearly 100 percent of Anne Arundel County residents will now have access to wired broadband services, according to a press release.
“Many of them, believe it or not, had DLS or dial-up access. A lot of folks were going to the library to get access. Many of them were too far away to even get DSL,” Bjorn said.
In addition to high-speed Internet access, with speeds up to 30mps, Broadstripe also offers 200 channels of television programming and a telephone service. The services will be available to residents in much of South County, including Lothian, Tracy’s Landing, West River and Deale. For more information, visit Broadstripe online, or call 410-987-9300 or 301-497-5400.