Worcester Agrees To Spend $60K On Broadband Study

SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Commissioners agreed last week to move forward with a contract for a broadband feasibility study.

At a meeting last Tuesday, the commissioners voted to accept a $60,000 bid from Columbia Telecommunications Corporation for a broadband feasibility study.

“I think it’s a good move forward for Worcester County,” Commissioner Ted Elder said.

Brian Jones, the county IT manager, told the commissioners the county received broadband feasibility study bids from seven consulting firms. Bids ranged in price from $14,000 to $96,000.

Jones said he recommended the county go with Columbia Telecommunications Corporation (CTC) at a cost of $60,000.

“I realize CTC is not the lowest bidder but given the scope of work and their bid details I feel they would give us the best results,” he said, adding that the company came highly recommended by state officials and had done plenty of work in Maryland.

Jones said that he’d been in communication with the governor’s office and had learned that grants for broadband feasibility studies would be available in late March. The grants will pay for up to 50 percent of the cost of a feasibility study. Such a grant would bring the county’s cost for the proposed study to $30,000.

“This reimbursement will not be available until the end of March,” Jones said. “At this time we are the first in line for these grants and we are the furthest along with the potential award for a feasibility study, which basically puts us at the top of the list. They have suggested that while it is fine to decide on the award of the proposal we refrain from signing a contract until we receive formal approval of the grant award.”

Elder thanked Jones for his hard work during the bid process and said he trusted his bid recommendation.

“I want to thank everybody for their work on this…,” Elder said. “It puts us first in line and that’s a good place to be.”

The commissioners voted unanimously to award the bid to CTC.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.