Broadband Efforts Ramp Up For South End

SNOW HILL – Efforts to expand broadband access in rural parts of southern Worcester County could bring high speed internet to some homes as soon as this month.

Officials from Talkie Communications, the county’s broadband vendor, said this week customers in the Dun Swamp Road area could have access to broadband by late October/early November.

“The county’s been great to work with,” said Talkie Communications’ Andre DeMattia. “The commissioners really want this.”

After soliciting proposals last fall, the Worcester County Commissioners selected Talkie as the county’s broadband partner in early 2021. At that point, the company was able to begin applying for grants to help expand access to broadband. DeMattia said those grants will make the expensive project — estimated at $52 million — more feasible.

Though the company is using its Chestertown crew to handle work in Pocomoke right now, once grant funding begins to arrive — likely in January — DeMattia plans to hire a local installation team. With that in mind, the company has leased the county’s old liquor warehouse. It will serve as storage space initially but later could provide staff space.

“We’re excited,” DeMattia said. “As soon as we get into the warehouse things will go faster.”

The company is currently working in the Dun Swamp Road area of Pocomoke and from there will go to Stockton Road and Sheephouse Road. DeMattia said the company hopes to simultaneously begin installation in the Bishopville area.

“The community wants it,” DeMattia said. “I’ve had so many contact me.”

He said many people in Pocomoke had already signed up for service and that more would likely do so when they heard their neighbors were connected. The company offers fiber-optic access starting at $69.99 a month. For those with limited income, the company does participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, which covers $50 of the monthly cost for eligible households. DeMattia said the state offered an additional $15 per month for eligible customers.

He added that while the grants Talkie planned to use to fund its work were meant to bring high speed internet to rural, unserved areas, Talkie would eventually overbuild and offer service in the more populated parts of Worcester County. He said those interested should visit Talkie’s website,, as community interest will determine where the company offers access.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.