Cooperative’s Broadband Bill Passes in Annapolis
Legislation to allow Choptank Electric Cooperative to deliver broadband to members on the Eastern Shore passed unanimously in the House and Senate on March 18. Dubbed “an emergency bill,” it becomes effective as soon as Governor Hogan signs it.
“The team here at Choptank Electric will work tirelessly to achieve this life-changing infrastructure deployment for our members,” said Mike Malandro, President and CEO of the Cooperative.
“The artful negotiations of Speaker Pro Tem Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes (District 37A) and Senator Steve Hershey (District 36) really pulled this bill through in the final hours of the General Assembly session,” explained Malandro. “We are grateful for their support and the leadership of Chairman Dereck Davis and Chairwoman Delores Kelley to get this bill passed on the last day of Session.”
“The dedication of the entire Eastern Shore delegation, county elected officials and our grassroots members is what made this happen,” concluded Malandro.
Under the bill, Choptank Electric Cooperative must conduct a vote of its members to become member-regulated. That vote will occur after at least two regional information meetings are held. Planning for meetings and the vote of members will begin immediately, with due regard to the current COVID-19 state of emergency in Maryland.
With a positive vote from members, the Cooperative will quickly move forward with broadband plans. These include meetings with members who desire broadband service to begin laying out the deployment schedule. And, application to the FCC for Rural Development Opportunity Act grant funds to bring down the cost of broadband installation for all members.
Updated information about Broadband plans will be posted on the Cooperative’s website.
For more information about your Cooperative, you can call our Member Service Center at 1.877.892.0001 or visit our website at www.choptankelectric.coop