TASK FORCE ON RURAL INTERNET, BROADBAND, WIRELESS, & CELLULAR SERVICE

Chair: Charlotte L. Davis, Executive Director, Rural Maryland Council


[photo, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland] Appointed by Governor: Theresa C. Bethune; Robert E. Branson, Esq.; Jonathan D. Favorite; Brian R. Roche; Lisa V. McCabe; Robert Scott Randall; Andrew D. Roscoe; Andrew (Drew) Van Dopp.

Appointed by Senate President: Adelaide C. Eckardt; George C. Edwards; Stephen M. Waugh.

Appointed by House Speaker: Sally Y. Jameson; Carol L. Krimm; Mary Ann Lisanti; John F. (Johnny) Mautz IV; one vacancy.

Appointed by Chair, Public Service Commission: Juan C. Alvarado

Appointed by Task Force Chair: Robert P. Behlke; Thomas Dennison; Kenrick Gordon; Hugh E. Grunden; Sean M. Looney; W. Patrick Mitchell; Michael S. Scott, Ph.D.

Appointed by Task Force Chair representing multicounty organization: Heather M. Gramm

Representing Mid-Shore Regional Council: W. Scott Warner

100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland, July 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Representing Tri-County Council for Lower Eastern Shore: Michael P. Pennington

Representing Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland: John F. Hartline

Representing Tri-County Council for Western Maryland: Guy J. Winterberg

Representing Upper Shore Regional Council: Jack N. Wilson, Jr.

Ex officio: Steven Pennington, designee of Secretary of Commerce; Michael G. Leahy, Secretary of Information Technology.

Staff: Andrea (Andi) Morony

c/o Legislative & Intergovernmental Affairs
Department of Information Technology
100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 21032
(410) 697-9456
e-mail: andi.morony1@maryland.gov

In June 2017, the Task Force on Rural Internet, Broadband, Wireless, and Cellular Service formed (Chapters 620 & 621, Acts of 2017).

The Task Force explored ways Maryland counties can work together to get federal assistance for improving rural internet, broadband, wireless and cellular service. Current connectivity was assessed, particularly for users located at the end of connectivity. Gaps and redundancies in current internet, broadband, wireless, cellular, and landline service connectivity were evaluated by the Task Force. Also evaluated were are any federal funds for which application was made previously in response to an earlier task force.

To help identify unserved and underserved rural areas in Maryland, the Task Force sought comment from local governments, internet service providers, and wireless service providers. How to access maps sufficiently to both educate the public and calculate costs for universal last-mile broadband coverage also were considered by the Task Force.

The Task Force submitted its original report to the Governor and General Assembly in January 2018, and its second report in January 2019.

Authorization for the Task Force originally was to end on May 31, 2018, but was extended to May 31, 2019 (Chapters 177 & 178, Acts of 2018).

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