Delaware lawmakers continue to push for expanded broadband access

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DELAWARE — On Tuesday evening, Delaware State Senator Brian Pettyjohn hosted a virtual webinar aimed at addressing the issue of high-speed internet access in the first state.

In the fall, Governor Carney pledged $110 million through the American Rescue Plan Act to bridge the digital divide.

Current providers offered under the program include Comcast, Verizon and Mediacom. Senator Pettyjohn says the goal is to connect every mile in the first state.

The big question that many residents wanted answered was when areas still without service will be connected. “Next week we will be able to fill in the addresses that are on our list and the service providers who will ultimately provide services to them,” said Jason Clarke of the Delaware Department of Technology and Information. “As each of these Statements of Work are completed and teams are launched, we will then begin to update these addresses with the start of work and here is an expected completion date.”

Many residents have also been unable to choose their service providers in certain areas due to the cost of running the lines.

These lines are not only expensive, but some say they ruin their yards when installing them. It’s a concern tech experts say they hear and are addressing. “This is a big project for the 3 suppliers. It’s more than they’ve ever encountered. It’s kind of a unique example,” Clarke said. “They are very accommodating to our requests to go back and fix potential issues and other things that have happened.”

Currently, if you are in one location, you will have the same provider. Experts say that could potentially change in the future.

Senator Pettyjohn also adds that although several service providers are not currently offered, the priority is to ensure that all are connected to the Internet.

If you encounter any problems with the service, you are encouraged to contact your provider.

Programs providing internet access to low-income households are still available and currently serve thousands of residents in the first state.

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