FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACTS: Sue Walitsky (Cardin) 202-224-4524
Rachel MacKnight (Mikulski) 202-228-1122
Cardin, Mikulski Announce ARC Funding for Critical Upgrades in Communication Infrastructure in
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that Allegany County Board of Commissioners has received a $300,000grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to improve and upgrade digital communication infrastructure through the AllCoNet Backbone Microwave Link Upgrade. In addition to the grant, the project will be locally funded at a level of $300,000, bringing the total funding to $600,000. The AllCoNet Network currently provides broadband service to numerous public entities including schools, 911 call centers, and local first responders. AllCoNet also services over 40 businesses and a large residential market.
“We need to make sure all Americans have the tools they need to stay competitive. In 2013, ensuring that rural America has access to reliable internet is not only a top economic and public safety priority, it is a necessity” said Senator Cardin. “Federal investments like this help our schools, our libraries, first responders and local communities stay connected, giving Maryland communities an edge and keeping us safe.”
“In today’s global marketplace, broadband is what connects U.S. communities and businesses to each other and to the world,” Senator Mikulski said. “This grant will get communities in Western Maryland connected to the information superhighway, creating new opportunities at small businesses, opening new doors to learning at schools and libraries, and making our communities safer, stronger and smarter.”
This grant will help fund the purchase and installation of six new radio transmitters on the AllCoNet wireless system in Allegany County. The radios currently in use are obsolete and replacement parts are very hard to obtain. The radios are also operating above their limited capacity. The new 1Gig radios will replace the older 155Mb radios; bringing AllCoNet into the licensed radio spectrum.
Senator Cardin sits on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Small Business Committee. Senator Mikulski is Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee. Together they understand the economic, environmental and quality of life benefits of investing in infrastructure.