LEONARDTOWN, Md. – The St. Mary’s Broadband Assessment Project team has submitted its report to the Commissioners. The team is Dellicker Strategies and Lewis Strategic, both experienced and successful in broadband aggregation projects. The Assessment Survey Report contains multiple findings about St. Mary’s County broadband supply and demand and offers ten recommendations for improving the county infrastructure. The report was presented at the Commissioners Meeting Jan. 12, 2021.

October Employer Survey Results:
The outreach discovered 668 Facebook groups situated in St. Mary’s County, with more than 2.26 million connections. Our outreach found 116 businesses with more than 23,300 employees.

Ninety-three different St. Mary’s County organizations participated in the project’s October employer survey. Generally, employers were divided in their opinions about local broadband access, with about half saying it works fine and the other half identifying various problems. On bandwidth, 47% of organizations reported satisfaction with their broadband connection, while 51% said it is not fast enough. Fifty percent of organizations said their broadband was reliable, and 48% said it is not. Sixty-one percent of employers think they pay too much for the broadband services they receive.

When asked about their broadband upgrade plans, 58% of organizations said they could not get a faster connection. Nine responding organizations said they purchase bandwidth of 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) or more. Fourteen percent of responding employers said they have Ethernet fiber, 56% said they have cable modems, and 14% use cellular data plans for internet access.

The average download speed was 366 Mbps, and the median download speed was 95 Mbps based on the employer responses. According to respondents, the average cost was $762 per month, and the median cost was $230 per month. The recent St. Mary’s County Broadband Assessment Request for Proposals demonstrates that competitive options exist in St. Mary’s County. Many St. Mary’s County employers could probably lower their costs by shopping for different services, terms, and bandwidth options.

Broadband Request for Proposals (RFP):
Fifty organizations voluntarily participated in the November Broadband Request for Proposals. The RFP produced two options for employers with pricing and expanded capacity opportunities. RFP and Survey participants, if they wish, can purchase broadband from this RFP. We highly encourage each broadband buyer to call/email them and seek a best and final offer, from each provider:

1. Atlantic Broadband is a national telecommunications provider with a cable franchise covering 90% of St. Mary’s County, A longtime provider in the County; they responded to the RFP and are willing to speak with every broadband buyer in the cable franchise geography. Contact: William T. Newborg, Director of Grants and Funding, Atlantic Broadband, 126 Urbanna Road, P.O. Box 1147, Saluda, VA 23149, WNewborg@atlanticbb.com, Phone: 804.250.2258, Cell: 804.815.7633  

2. Xtel Communications is a regional telecommunications company based in New Jersey. Xtel Communications has successively responded to many RFP projects throughout the mid-Atlantic region. While Xtel responded to 27 of the 50 Broadband RFP participants, with additional information from the other participants, Xtel may provide your organizations with a quote for gigabit service. Contact: Liz Sorino, Executive Vice President, Xtel Communications, Inc., 10000 Midlantic Drive, Suite 410-E, Mount Laurel, NJ 08054, http://xtel.net | 1-800-GET-XTEL, Direct: 856-807-0403, Cell: 856-296-1599, lsorino@xtel.net.

Lewis Strategic, a member of the Assessment Project team, remains available to all 50-participants to optimize your organization’s response to the Broadband RFP results by contacting Kelly Lewis, at Kelly@LewisStrategic.com.

Companies seeking to relocate to St. Mary’s should contact St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development, Chris Kaselemis, AICP, Director, Office: 301-475-4200, ext. 1405,
Chris.Kaselemis@stmarysmd.com, 23115 Leonard Hall Drive, Leonardtown, MD 20650, FAX: 301-475-4414

For more information contact: Kelly Lewis: Kelly@LewisStrategic.com