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Mathews receives $200,000+ in broadband access grants

The Mathews County Broadband Advisory Board announced Tuesday that the county has been awarded two federal CARES Act grants totaling more than $200,000 to fund broadband projects.

Smart poles

One grant, totaling $197,144, will fund the installation of eight Clearworld smart poles in Wi-Fi dead spots around the county. Each solar-powered pole, at a cost of $24,643, will be equipped with a Cradlepoint access point to create a Wi-Fi network extending approximately 1,000 feet from the pole. The poles will also be lighted.

This will enable residents to drive to the parking lot where a pole is located and access the internet free of charge for educational and tele-health purposes. The poles will also provide internet access to homes within their coverage area.

Each smart pole will be able to connect at speeds up to 300 Mbps with 15 or more users at a time. Included in the grant was funding to provide unlimited data and customer support for each pole for one year and a remote mon...

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