Twenty-five percent of Talbot County’s residents do not have access to broadband, which is a travesty considering it is one of, if not the, wealthiest counties in Maryland. I understand that Choptank Cooperative is getting resistance to bringing broadband to its customers, and I would ask that our elected representatives use every means available to bring access to high-speed internet to everyone in Talbot County.
As a resident without access, I‘ve heard that the county has been slow to address the problem for a number reasons — chiefly because they don’t want to raise taxes to pay for laying fiber. Travelers Rest residents in the past also have been told we would have to pay to run the cable from St Michaels Road to our homes.
Last winter, I hosted a member of our county council at my home to address residents on this issue. We were told the county had applied for money from the state and that we’d see something happen in October. And many of us have written to our county representatives only to see no action, response or follow up.
Many of us are trying to run businesses out of our homes, maintain professional certifications, get children through school and rent to vacationers. It is not fair that we are being denied what is now considered a basic utility.
Current regulatory restrictions prevent Choptank members from using their cooperative to access broadband. If it means getting internet to the residents of Travelers Rest faster, I support Choptank Electric Cooperative’s effort to become a member-regulated utility. I encourage our state legislators, regulatory agencies and others to do everything possible to facilitate access for all!