Kent County based Talkie Communications has won a major federal contract to bring high-speed fiber optic Internet to underserved areas in 21 of Maryland’s 24 counties, as well as all three counties in Delaware.
Prince George’s, Anne Arundel and Montgomery were exempt from the contract because of the wide availability of Internet in those counties.
“This is a game changer for us,” said Andre DeMattia, who with his twin brother Andrew started the Internet company two years ago to provide high speed Internet in Kent.
The contract is worth approximately $60 million over 10 years and the projects have to be complete by the sixth year, DeMattia said.
Roughly $4 million is targeted for Kent County and the company says they are working as fast as they can to bring high speed Internet to residents here.
So far the company has hooked up 1,200 customers in Kent and is forecast to hook up an additional 500 in the next 60 days, DeMattia said.
“We started two years ago here with the idea to make Internet fast and affordable in Kent and we’ve kept our noses to the grindstone,” DeMattia said.
The DeMattia brothers have a combined 42 years experience in telecommunications working at Verizon before venturing out on their own. He said all of Talkie’s installers are former Verizon employees.
The company operates out of the former Chesapeake Mirror and Glass location at 99 Talbot Blvd. in Chestertown, a 5,000 square foot facility with 31 employees.
“We place great value in our employees and our customers here,” DeMattia said. “We will continue to make Kent County the home of Talkie Communications and we look forward to working with the county and residents to make sure everyone has access to good Internet. We believe reliable high speed Internet is a right and not a privilege.”
Talkie’s new contract came as “great news” to Kent County Commissioner Ron Fithian, who along with former Commissioners William Pickrum and Bill Short in 2016 made significant investments in advancing high speed Internet in the underserved areas of Kent County.
“I’m proud to see that this company has emerged out of Kent County and will continue to be headquartered here,” Fithian said. “They’ve taken risks and worked hard to be where they are and I hope this will be a signal to other technology companies that Kent County is open for business.”