Hampstead residents may soon have another option for high-speed internet service, as Antietam Broadband is looking into bringing its fiber-optic network to the northeast Carroll County town.
According to the company, its direct fiber network “can handle more users and more data at consistently higher speeds than other Internet connections,” and because data is transmitted via light, “fiber optic networks are not as prone to outages as other Internet networks.”
Antietam Broadband hosted a meeting Tuesday night at Hampstead’s Town Hall to inform residents about the company’s construction process and technical capabilities, and to gauge the town’s interest in having another internet provider.
According to Hampstead Town Manager Jim Roark, the meeting was informative, but few residents attended.
Antietam Broadband has begun similar fiber-optic network projects in New Windsor and Taneytown, Roark said, and he expects the company to offer internet to every municipality in the county except Westminster, as the city already has fiber-optic service from Ting Internet.
“It never hurts to have options, and that’s why we’re thinking that bringing this in will be a good a good thing for our residents,” Roark said.
Brian Lynch, senior vice president of Antietam parent company Schurz Communications, said he does not expect significant disruption to residents due to possible broadband infrastructure construction.
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“We’ve got a lot of experience in doing construction both on the pole lines as well as underground,” Lynch said. “We have processes that assure quality results with little to no damage at all. Where there is, if any, we’re responsible immediately for the restoration of that area. We’ve got a lot of good people who’ve been doing [this] for a long time that are very talented operating in underground environments and aerial facilities for the poles and will be noninvasive to the community.”
Installing the internet facilities would be Antietam’s project, Roark said, not the town’s. The town would green light the company’s plans, issue the appropriate utility permits, and mark all water lines and utilities near work sites so they are not disturbed.
“It will be a bit of a burden on the town staff,” Roark said, “but on the other hand it also may provide a good alternative and another option as far as internet services for our residents.”
It is too early in the process for a broadband installation timeline to be known, Lynch said, as the company is still in the planning stages. Antietam must feel confident that Hampstead is interested in another internet option before committing to the costly investment, he added.
If installed, fiber-based Antietam Broadband internet would offer Hampstead residents 2.5 gigabytes of broadband service, Lynch said, which could be later increased to 10 gigabytes or above.
According to the company’s website, prices range from $50 to $90 per month for the service.
Anyone with questions about the project can call Antietam Broadband at 301-797-5000.