What is the ICBN?
The One Maryland Broadband Network (OMBN), led by the Maryland Department of Information Technology with Howard County as a key partner, was granted $115 million under the Recovery Act’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) to build a high-speed fiber optic network that will directly connect 1,006 community anchor institutions and span 4,200 square miles across the State of Maryland. The OMBN project will touch every county in the state.
Howard County is a grant sub recipient responsible for managing the $72 million (of the $115 total amount granted) directed to the Inter-County Broadband Network (ICBN), a collaborative inter-governmental consortium comprised of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Harford County, Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. ICBN will directly connect 715 anchor institutions in Central Maryland, including hundreds of K-12 public schools, libraries, public safety agencies, community colleges and other government institutions. In addition, in each of these communities – the network will also connect to existing networks with thousands more anchor institutions. Also, the ICBN will make available nearly 800 miles of fiber optic cable for low-cost lease by commercial entities to expand the reach and quality of broadband access throughout the region.