A total of $56 million in broadband infrastructure grants were announced as part of a plan to bring broadband Internet access to every home in the state.
The winners, Comcast, Verizon and Mediacom, are current service providers with existing broadband infrastructure that responded to a grant application released in October 2021.
The three companies will expand their existing coverage areas to serve more than 11,600 Delaware homes and businesses that do not have access to wireline broadband service. Construction is expected to begin in the coming weeks.
Cable companies generally limit their systems to the most populated areas that can generate profits. Delaware has some of the highest broadband speeds, but has “broadband wastelands,” mostly in parts of Kent and Sussex counties. In one case, a Sussex County business park tapped broadband into nearby Maryland to get high-speed service.
Delaware State and Sussex County have also worked to expand broadband access in previous efforts.
- Comcast – $33.1 million
- Verizon – $11.8 million
- Mediacom – $11.1 million
Breezeline, formerly Atlantic Broadband, a carrier serving the fast-growing Middletown area, is not included. Verizon also provides broadband service in the Middletown area. Comcast and Verizon have overlapping systems in communities, but not in Wilmington, where Comcast is the only cable provider.
Over the next 36 months, Comcast, Verizon, and Mediacom will develop and expand the current infrastructure to provide fixed wired Internet access with transmission speeds that, at a minimum, will provide 100 megabits per second (100 Mbps) download and 20 megabits per second. (20 Mbps) download.
Delawares can find out if their area has internet access and flag addresses that don’t use Delaware. Broadband hub (https://gis.broadband.delaware.gov/). DTI plans to update the interactive map with expansion project updates and real-time data. Additionally, addresses reported as lacking service during the construction phase will be included in the current project.
“Expanding access to reliable broadband service has long been a priority for Delaware,” said Jason Clarke, chief information officer for the Delaware Department of Information and Technology. “With our ability to leverage funding made available by Congress and the President and with the support of Governor Carney, we are excited to execute on the strategy of our stakeholders and our well-positioned supplier community to bridge the digital divide in Delaware.
Broadband infrastructure grants are part of the $110 million program for broadband infrastructure Carney announced in August 2021. Funding for this initiative comes from the federal government US Bailout Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Act
Grants cover up to 75% of capital construction costs, with Internet service providers contributing a minimum of 25%. Stakeholders developed this plan with representatives from the public and private sectors. Applicants had to be current service providers in the State of Delaware with existing broadband infrastructure.