Funds Approved For Exterior WiFi Spots

SNOW HILL –   An emergency grant will allow for the addition of exterior wireless access points at Worcester County’s schools.

Senator Mary Beth Carozza thanked the members of Maryland’s Board of Public Works Wednesday for approving a request from the Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband and the Department of Housing and Community Development for a $32,750 Emergency Broadband Education Assistance grant to Worcester County Public Schools.

“This funding will provide much-needed assistance to our students who are distance learning,” Carozza said. “Students, teachers and parents are facing challenges when it comes to finding new ways to learn from home and finding other accessible online sites to be utilized. This grant is so important to rural areas on the Shore and ensuring that my constituents have access to broadband remains one of my top priorities.”

Carozza, who shared news of the grant in the wake of the state announcement that schools would be closed the rest of the school year, said the funding will go toward exterior wireless access points for placement on county schools. The equipment will allow students to access broadband from their vehicles outside of the building, maintaining proper social distancing and benefitting students who might not have internet access at home.

“We are grateful to Senator Carozza and the Board of Public Works for facilitating the approval of this pass-through grant,” said Worcester County Superintendent of Schools Lou Taylor. “As a rural county with broad socioeconomic dynamics, it is imperative that we can provide equitable access to reliable internet connectivity for continuity of learning. We hope that these wireless access points will be able to provide another avenue of reaching those families that struggle with finding reliable connectivity.”

Carozza said she and her colleagues in the Eastern Shore Delegation are committed to providing more broadband access to constituents. During the 2020 legislative session, Carozza cosponsored and supported the Rural Broadband for the Eastern Shore Act of 2020, which will allow Choptank Electric Cooperative to move forward with plans for providing broadband access on the Eastern Shore.

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.