Plan Proposed to Bring High-speed Internet to More Parts of Dorc - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Plan Proposed to Bring High-speed Internet to More Parts of Dorchester County

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The lines in orange are proposed fiber optic routes through Dorchester County (Photo:WBOC) The lines in orange are proposed fiber optic routes through Dorchester County (Photo:WBOC)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.-  In many parts of Dorchester County, high-speed internet is a luxury, not a guarantee.  A group of citizens, partnering with the Maryland Broadband Coalition, is looking at ways to bring fiber optic internet to the entire county, even rural areas.

For many living in south Dorchester County, there are no options from companies like Comcast to hook into a fiber line because there is no infrastructure.

"What that means is one they have no option to connect to high-speed broadband, or two they only have an option like mobile band.  A cellular connection that is limited and often expensive to use," said Brian Roche with Bay Country Communications.

While those mobile band options can bring high speeds, they also have a cap on how much data is allowed, and overages can add up quickly.

"We've heard stories of their son or daughter watching a few too many movies, or their son gets excited about updating his Xbox and they can have a bill that goes over several hundred to sometimes several thousand dollars," said Roche.

"It's a tremendous impact on how you even live your life," said Dan Dunlap of Church Creek.  His family, along with others, have found a workaround for the internet issue, but it's not elegant.

"My son oftentimes has to do his homework at McDonald's because they have free internet.  We have to drive 15 minutes into town and go at strange hours to get things done.  We have to do all our computer updates at McDonald's or Denny's or the local library," said Dunlap.

There is a proposed solution, as highlighted in orange on the map.

"That cost of broadband is let's say $2 million for the whole county, versus $15 to $40 million for a new firehouse or school, and it benefits both and has the option to pay you back," said Roche.

The goal is to try it out in one area, like the Neck District, to see how it goes, and expand from there.

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