Residents of Lower Shore have a new option for high-speed Internet service — although it comes much later than originally planned.
The service provider is called Bloosurf, and it’s a company based in Salisbury. In 2011, the provider received $3.2 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and in September of 2015, Bloosurf unveiled eight towers that beamed high-speed LTE Internet to 100,000 households in three counties: Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester.
The resurrected network of eight towers was part of a program that distributed $3.5 billion in federal stimulus money to around 300 Internet projects across the U.S. in 2010, with a main goal of providing more internet access to rural areas.
According to recent studies, up to 70% of consumers have visited a store after seeing a local search ad on the Internet. But for individuals in rural areas, it can be difficult to surf the web easily without high-speed Internet.
However, the effort has recently been under fire for failing to follow through with projects or having them run far past schedule.
By March of 2014, 42 total projects had been shelved. And according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report, only 39 had been completed.
Meanwhile, Bloosurf has experienced difficulties in maintaining stability as a service provider.
In the company’s application for stimulus money later in 2010, Bloosurf painted a bleak picture for its future.
“Assuming that Bloosurf will reach 200 subscriptions by the end of the year, with $60,000 in the bank at the end of February 2010, Bloosurf will be able to sustain the operations till December 2010,” the company wrote.
Company officials suspect that if the federal fusion hadn’t transpired, the company would have gone out of business long ago.
Like many of the other grant recipients, Bloosurf was running behind schedule. In response to this, the government pushed back the deadline from the end of June to the end of December.
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