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Choptank Fiber Connects its First Customer

DENTON, MD – Choptank Fiber, Choptank Electric Cooperative’s wholly-owned broadband subsidiary, delivered broadband service to its first customer on April 15, 2021.

Choptank Electric Cooperative welcomed elected officials, including Gov. Larry Hogan, Sen. Steve Hershey, Sen. Addie Eckardt, Sen. Mary Beth Carozza, members of the Eastern Shore Delegation, Caroline County government, and Office of Rural Broadband representatives, along with employees and staff and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the special occasion.

Gov. Hogan commemorated the occasion by presenting an official citation to recognize the importance of Choptank Fiber’s ribbon cutting and honor Choptank Electric Cooperative’s commitment to expanding access to broadband on the Eastern Shore.

Choptank Fiber’s first official customers are Gordon and Sherry Hollingsworth of Caroline County. Sherry’s grandfather, Henry Lister, was one of the first Choptank Electric Cooperative members, so being part of the broadband experience and being the first customer is a monumental occasion.

“Gordon and I are extremely excited and honored to be part of this incredible service. We really appreciate the outstanding work of Choptank Electric’s employees,” said Sherry Hollingsworth. “From simply searching the web, keeping in contact with friends, and finally getting to facetime our grandchildren, it will be a blessing to finally have reliable internet service.”

The rural community is one of many on the Eastern Shore that do not have access to fast, reliable internet service. Choptank Fiber’s goal is to serve all the underserved members of Choptank Electric Cooperative – with a “No Home Left Behind” philosophy.

“Our real goal is to change the quality of life for rural members on the Eastern Shore,” said Mike Malandro, President and CEO of Choptank Electric Cooperative. “With over 650-miles of a fiber backbone, our Smart Grid brings us closer to the rural unserved than any other entity out there.” Malandro recognized the Eastern Shore Delegation for their hard work and dedication in Annapolis and thanked Choptank Electric members. “I am thankful to our members who literally gave us the vote of confidence to move forward – through Member Regulation.”

“We have been so successful over the years at delivering electric service to rural residents…Today, broadband service and internet access have become almost as important as electric service was over 80 years ago. I am pleased that we have found a way to deliver this life-changing service to our members,” said Jeff Rathell, Chairman of the Cooperative Board of Directors.

Choptank Fiber plans to have its first fifty customers hooked up by end of June 2021. To learn more about Choptank Fiber please visit choptankfiber.com.

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About Choptank Electric: Choptank Electric, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, is a not-for-profit, member-owned, electric distribution co-op located on Maryland's Eastern Shore serving over 54,000 consumer-members. Choptank Electric Cooperative exists to provide reliable and cost-effective electricity that improves the quality of life for our member-owners. For more information about Choptank Electric Cooperative, visit our website at www.choptankelectric.coop or call our Member Service Center at 1.877.892.0001.

About Touchstone Energy: The Touchstone Energy® brand represents a nationwide alliance of 751 local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states. 

Choptank Fiber: Choptank Fiber, LLC is a wholly-owned broadband subsidiary of Choptank Electric Cooperative. Choptank Fiber's goal is to install true Gigabit broadband with no data caps one community at a time until we serve the entire rural Eastern Shore.

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