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Public Broadband May Be Coming to Harford County, Maryland

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 12 2011

Harford County, Maryland, may get a low-cost community wireless network, GovtTech reports:

The $8 million proposal would consolidate existing networks into a single, secure high-speed IP network providing Internet, Ethernet and voice over IP. The project, called the Harford County Metro Area Network (HMAN), was outlined in the county’s proposed fiscal year 2012 Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Program.

GovTech's Sarah Rich quotes county Chief Information Officer Justus Eapen as saying that he'd like wireless connectivity plans to start at about $20 a month and start providing connectivity in six months, although procurement delays could push it back as far as three years.

Control over access to high-speed Internet is often fought over at the state and local levels. Activists in North Carolina recently lost a battle over a bill that would impede municipalities from creating their own broadband networks, and access to a university network was the subject of another fight in Wisconsin.

(With Andrew Seo)