STEVENSVILLE — Atlantic Broadband, the nation’s eighth-largest cable operator, announced Tuesday, Aug. 20, the expansion of its Gigabit internet deployment for residential and business customers in its Maryland and Delaware service areas.

Maryland’s Gig footprint now includes Stevensville, Chesapeake City and Perryville. Delaware’s now includes Middletown, Delaware City, New Castle, Odessa, Port Penn, St. Georges, Townsend and Clayton.

This launch is part of Atlantic Broadband’s expansion initiative to make Gigabit speed internet available to 90 percent of its service area, extending across 11 states from Maine to Florida. It also expands the availability of Gigabit in Maryland, having initially been made available in the Cumberland area in May.

“Atlantic Broadband is dedicated to providing the latest powerful Gigabit broadband internet to homes and businesses in our service areas,” Atlantic Broadband Maryland/Delaware Vice President and General Manager Scott Randall said. “We are proud to expand the availability of Gig in our communities, enabling them to access speeds that will transform the online experience for businesses and homes.”

The average internet download speed over fixed broadband in the U.S. is about 96 Mbps, according to Ookla’s Q2/Q3 2018 national report. Gigabit internet delivers speeds up to 10 times faster.

“The Gigabit speed expansion is occurring at a time when homes and workplaces increasingly require internet with the capacity and performance to power the growing number of devices and applications customers rely on every day,” Randall said. “Gigabit’s high-performance speeds, made possible through robust DOCSIS 3.1 technology, power the most data-intensive applications so that home and business users can surf, stream, download and work online simultaneously.”

Atlantic Broadband General Manager Bernard Hazelwood discussed the expansion of fiber lines for internet in the county during a June Queen Anne’s County Commission meeting.

“One of the biggest things we recognized over the last year was that we need to take care of customers in the Mid-Shore region. We are looking at staffing call center positions to cut down the hold time for customers,” Hazelwood said.

According to Hazelwood, Atlantic Broadband currently has 54 associates in the Delmarva Peninsula with 33 dedicated to installation and service repairs, 12 for sales staff on a door-to-door and front counter basis, and nine for operations, including administrative and finance.

Atlantic Broadband’s second phase upgrades totaled 247 miles in Queen Anne’s County. The company completed its municipal dark fiber build in May, which includes five locations in Queen Anne’s County.

Dark fiber is an unused line established for future use to accommodate growth in areas once the line is leased for service.

Upcoming projects include phase two of the Kent Island Four Seasons development with 100 projected customers, phase three of the Bay Bridge Cove development with 90 projected customers, phase one of the Slippery Hill Apartments in Grasonville with 64 projected customers, and three completed buildings at the Willows Apartments in Centreville with 78 projected customers.

As part of overall upgrades, Hazelwood noted the company continued an increase to internet upload and download speeds at no additional cost to customers, a TiVo unified entertainment system that is ready to launch, and Amazon Alexa voice control on the platform.

Residential speed upgrades increase access tier download speeds increase from 1.5 Mbps to 10 Mbps, express tier download speeds increase from five Mbps to 20 Mbps, turbo tier download speeds increase from 35 Mbps and 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps, and ultra tier download speeds increase from 105 Mbps and 150 Mbps to 200 Mbps.

For business customers, speed increases upgrades will make small business tier download speeds increase from 10 Mbps to 25 Mbps, performance tier download speeds increase from 60 Mbps to 100 Mbps, advanced tier download speeds increase from 120 Mbps to 200 Mbps, and professional tier download speeds increase from 200 Mbps to 300 Mbps.

Bay Times staff writer Kristian Jaime contributed to this report.

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