The governor’s office said Comcast, Mediacom, and Verizon have all helped Delaware to connect 5,859 homes and businesses in the past 12 months, mostly in the rural part of the state.
Delaware Governor John Carney has vocalized and outlined an ambitious goal for Delaware to become the first state to provide universal high-speed fiber internet.
The governor’s comments came during an Oct. 26 progress update attended by officials and industry leaders regarding the state’s continued connectivity efforts.
In his comments, Carney said he learned how critical broadband was during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the pandemic we learned how important it was that families and homes had access to high-speed broadband,” he said. “Increasingly, having access to high-speed broadband is important for everybody just to live a normal existence.”
Using federal investments from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Delaware has already connected thousands of homes, businesses, and organizations to broadband in the last year, according to a statement put out by the governor’s office.
At the governor’s October progress update, held at the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation’s Innovation Technology Exploration Center, Carney announced the latest expansion of fiber in the state, which will connect several thousand homes and businesses.
Governor Carney has already assigned $33 million from ARPA to broadband expansion efforts, according to his office.
“Our goal is to have Delaware be the first state in the country to connect every home and business to high-speed internet within the next few years,” Carney said at the progress update. “If there is any state that can connect every home and business, it ought to be Delaware.”
Carney’s office said Comcast, Medicom, and Verizon have all helped Delaware to connect 5,859 homes and businesses in the past 12 months, mostly in the rural part of the state. The Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) has led the efforts.
“We know our work is far from over,” said Greg Lane, the CIO of DTI. “Additional federal funding from the BEAD and Digital Equity Programs will support the connection of an estimated remaining Delaware 8,600 addresses, as well as help us ensure that everyone can take advantage of digital technologies that are accessible and affordable.”
Carney’s office said the DTI is planning to use funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to complete the process of connecting the state. Additional funding for the project is being anticipated from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the statement from the governor’s office said.