Westminster, MD, Wednesday, April 24, 2024 - Carroll County is excited to announce the Difficult to Serve – Long Driveway Grant Program, effective immediately.  The county applied and received a grant from the State of Maryland for the FY24 Home Stretch – Difficult to Serve Properties Grant.  In an effort to provide internet to the unserved areas of the county, this grant provides funding assistance up to $14,000 to connect qualifying homes with driveways longer than an internet service provider will connect “for free” as part of the installation. 

For a household to be eligible, an internet service provider (ISP) must currently pass the long driveway home with its service. To apply for this grant, the county is asking those interested to complete the Hard to Connect – Long Driveway online application. The application can be found by going to the Broadband section of the county website or by entering “carrollbroadband.info” into a web browser. This will take you to the county’s broadband page where you can find the application and additional county broadband information.  Click on the Hard to Connect – Long Driveway link to get started. The Long Driveway application can also be reached directly by clicking on this link: Carroll County Long Driveway Application.

The county will reach out, via email, to residents who previously completed the county Broadband Survey and answered yes to the long driveway question.

Qualifications and Details:

  1. Only homes with existing broadband, internet, or cable TV infrastructure passing by their homes are eligible.
  2. The maximum grant is $14,000. For amounts above $14,000, the balance must be covered by the homeowner(s). The grant is payable to the ISP.
  3. Homes located in areas currently scheduled for future broadband installation are not eligible.   Find out if your home is scheduled for a future broadband build by searching your address in the county’s broadband map.
  4. Only one grant is available per house or address.  For example, homes with apartments or businesses associated may not apply for two grants.
  5. Grants are not retroactive.  Homeowners who already paid to have connections are not eligible to be reimbursed under this grant.
  6. The grant does not cover equipment or services. 

Once an application is received, the county checks the address for eligibility with the service provider. Applicants will receive an email regarding the eligibility status of the property.

Deadline and Time Frame: There is a limited amount of funding for this program.   The first round of applications will close May 31st with applications evaluated on a first come first served basis.  If there are remaining funds, a second round will open, and additional information will be published. Please check the website periodically for updates.

Carroll County Government remains committed to closing the digital divide and helping to provide internet service to the unserved areas of the county.

The Commissioners do not have the authority to tell Internet Service Providers, or private companies, where to expand their service but the county does work with service providers to help them determine where service is needed. Not being a service provider, the county develops public/private partnerships that incentivize local service providers to build last-mile connections where needed. Using these relationships allows more efficient use of grant funds and connects properties more quickly.

If you have questions about the grant or eligibility or would like an updated status on the grant, please contact Carroll County Broadband Project Manager Jay Uebel at 410-386-2309 or juebel@carrollcountymd.gov.