Maryland lawmakers look to plug in disconnected residents

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland state lawmakers aim to amend inequities in broadband internet access that have been accentuated by the coronavirus pandemic.

A state office for broadband would succeed Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s Office of Rural Broadband, which was created to improve broadband in rural areas of the state.

Andrew Coy, executive director of the Baltimore-based Digital Harbor Foundation, says lawmakers and organizations should approach broadband as a utility, much like water and electricity, rather than as an amenity.

According to a study the Baltimore-based Abell Foundation published in January 2020, two-thirds of Marylanders without broadband access live in Baltimore or in a metro county.

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