Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel) (NASDAQ:SHEN) received a USD$10 million grant award from the Maryland Office of Statewide Broadband for its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband services in Frederick County, MD.
Construction commences in 2023 intending to deliver an all-fiber choice for reliable high-speed internet for over 3,000 customers in the county. Glo Fibre is presently building a multi-gigabit network in Frederick, with services already working in some neighbourhoods.
“As the last few years have shown, high-quality and affordable internet access is critical for education, telehealth, and most importantly — jobs. This funding, provided by the federal American Rescue Plan, is a win for investing in Frederick County’s way of life while maintaining access to the essential services and economic benefits that broadband provides. By working with our state and local leaders, I remain committed to delivering the tools our communities need to thrive in the 21st century.” Congressman Trone has been a prominent advocate, working tirelessly for rural broadband funding,” said congressman David Trone.
Shenandoah Telecommunications is a broadband services provider offering high speed cable, fibre-optic and fixed wireless networks to customers in the Mid-Atlantic United States. Comparably Glo Fiber offers unlimited multi-gigabit internet access with respectable upload and download speeds, as well as streaming TV, and phone services in the mid-Atlantic region. The company has a 7,600 mile regional fibre network, which can ensure high speeds, low latency and fair pricing. The company has expanded its reach in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware.
The company’s history is a curious microcosm of the development of the technology.
It isn’t immediately apparent, but this company is 120 years old, having been formed in 1902 as Farmers’ Mutual Telephone System of Shenandoah County. The company originally intended to bring telephone services to rural residents of the county. In the 1960’s, the name changed to Shenandoah Telephone Company, and then in 1981 into its present incarnation. Shentel launched cable TV next and went full fibre in 1980’s. By 1984, Shentel added mobile and paging services, added cellular in 1990, and finally internet in 1994.
“Reliable internet access is a necessity in today’s world. Building out a system to serve all pockets of our community will take time and money, so I welcome news of this grant to help reach many of our rural areas. I want to thank our federal partners, particularly Senator Chris Van Hollen and Congressman David Trone, for making broadband a priority. Frederick County’s broadband study helped to lay the groundwork for the project announced today, and we will continue to look for opportunities to encourage private companies to invest in rural areas,” said Jan Gardner, Frederick County executive.