Broadband improvements slated for Downtown

Drew Van Dopp and Mayor Jake Day.

Plans are under way to install a point-of-presence facility at One Plaza East.

Announced by Mayor Jake Day, who was joined by Drew Van Dopp, CEO of  Maryland Broadband Cooperative, and local developer Bret Davis, owner of One Plaza East, the project will allow businesses in every building within Downtown Salisbury to connect with Maryland Broadband Cooperative’s statewide transport network at broadband speeds from 10 megabytes to 100 gigabits.

Fiber optic cable will be installed from Route 13, up Main Street, through the Downtown Plaza to Mill Street. Once completed, there will be fiber optic stub ups going into every one of the 67 buildings Downtown that touch Main and Division streets, Van Dopp explained.

It is expected to be completed by the end of summer.

“This network will be connected into Maryland Broadband’s statewide network that goes into major data centers in Baltimore and Northern Virginia,” Van Dopp explained.

“When it is all done and connected, it will mean that all of the (Internet Service Providers) that are members of the Maryland Broadband Co-op will have the opportunity to provide service to any business,” Van Dopp said.

“It’s very exciting. Businesses downtown will have the opportunity to ask ISPs from all across the state to compete to provide them better services. The ISPs will all manage by their own business models. Some will offer lower prices, some will offer better services,” he said.

Maryland Broadband is working with Davis to “put a point of presence in a co-location facility,” Van Dopp said.

“That means where Maryland Broadband is, we will be able to light up all fibers that will be Downtown and really develop Downtown Salisbury as a market that businesses want to participate in,” he said.

Salisbury’s Downtown “will be able to promote itself as a place attractive to businesses that need super high-speed internet to operate,” Van Dopp said.

That could be a technology-based business or business that use a significant amount of data, such as government buildings.

“If you improve the economy of city, or the heart of it, the benefits that come from new job growth and new activity is clearly a benefit to everyone. This is terrific for all of the developers downtown,” he said.

“Our goal is to be sure One Plaza East is at the forefront of that,” Davis said.

“The average mom and pop shop probably won’t use it to its fullest but if Perdue wanted to move Downtown – and they are Downtown — we have already saved them an abundance of effort by bringing the hub to Downtown,” Davis said.

“Now, businesses can plug into One Plaza. It would have taken years longer if we would have had to finish all the construction down the Plaza. We will be able to attract these companies with more effective service providers.

“The biggest thing is, you have company in D.C., you can get your company in Salisbury and it would be seamless. These companies need it to be seamless and quick,” Davis said.

“Somebody like NASA could run an office out of Salisbury. Now, if you want Internet, you call Comcast or you call Verizon and it can cost you whatever they want to charge you. Now there will be more providers. There are more possibilities,” Davis said.

“It’s a win-win-win. I’m excited. I can’t see a negative part of this.”

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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