Maryland Expands Rural Broadband

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The Maryland Board of Public Works approved a wetlands license for the state’s broadband collective which is managing statewide broadband expansion. The license will allow the collective through its public private partnership, to bring broadband fiber to rural parts of Maryland, and areas separated by waterways.

Maryland has been working through various stages of broadband expansion since the first rounds of BTOP funding were awarded. Once heavily populated areas were online, state official started working through plans to deal with rural areas, and the state’s unique geographical challenges.

With the license, fiber will now be laid through the Chesapeake Bay area connecting more disparate parts of the state’s borders. The project is on track to be complete by the end of next year.

In addition to the broadband project, Maryland is also making technology investments to bring and develop startups in the state. Cellphire, a Rockville biotechnology company, recently received a $1 million investment through the State’s InvestMaryland program. Cellphire is developing stabilized cellular products, including freeze-dried platelets that can be stored for years, for use in a range of advanced therapeutic and diagnostic applications.

InvestMaryland is an economic development initiative aimed at providing state backed funding to local startups to help spur job creation.

Last year, Cellphire received a contract worth up to $57 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research Defense Authority, a division of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The funding will be used to continue development of the company’s freeze-dried platelet product, Thrombosomes, and move it closer to winning Food and Drug Administration approval.