USM Maryland Research and Education Network to Connect Western Maryland Campuses with High-Speed Service

UPDATE:  Western Maryland Fiber Project – August 30, 2022


Project Update:

The Western Maryland connectivity enhancement project is live. The project brought 10GB of service to Frostburg State University. Frostburg CIO Tim Pelesky reports:

“We lit up our first 10gig lab last week (just in time for the start of the semester). Per Dr. Mike Flinn, chair of our Computer Science program:

“…We are at the next step which will be determining what software we need to connect to HPCs across the region (that software will not have the cap). This research is on me and the department, we’ll follow up ASAP.

The next step is for me to identify the department instructor needs…“

Dr. Flinn has also started conversations with our GIS department on expanding the network on campus, in support of their large dataset needs.

I’ve suggested the three of us meet to figure out a path forward – would you be willing? I’d plan to include our infrastructure team leadership to keep them informed.

So far, our quick win has been more-than-sufficient bandwidth to meet operational needs. As more and more of our service offerings transition to SaaS, and as our user population consumes more bandwidth (including continued reliance on IP video/telephony), the new connection has certainly met our expectations as it relates to capacity and QOS.”

FSU (specifically) hasn’t explored commercial services for the community, but our use of the network will certainly ensure we’re meeting the academic and research needs of our constituents. I suspect additional K-12/business wins will certainly come as these entities jump onto the network. MDREN will be meeting with members of the Western IT Centers of Excellence ( in November.



MDREN Partners with Virginia-Based Shenandoah Telecommunications Company

Baltimore, Md. (Jan. 26, 2021) – Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (“Shentel”) (Nasdaq: SHEN), a leading provider of fiber-optic services in the Mid-Atlantic region, has announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Maryland Research and Education Network (MDREN), a technology service provider at the University System of Maryland (USM), to connect USM campuses, including the University of Maryland, College Park flagship campus to Frostburg State University, with high-speed fiber network services. The project will give vastly improved connectivity resources to underserved and unserved students in the area who need access to remote learning.

Shentel Business will provide a unique fiber route that will pass through Berkeley Springs, WV, then through Hancock and Cumberland, finally ending at Frostburg in Maryland. The fiber installation will run along Route 40, providing new network connection opportunities for not only the USM’s western-most campus in Frostburg, but for other educational institutions and the underserved business communities throughout Western Maryland as well.

“Shentel Business’ continued expansion underscores our commitment to the state of Maryland’s businesses and organizations that are in need of more network connectivity options to fuel their growth,” said Craig Venable, Vice President of Commercial Sales, Shentel Business. “Be it health care, education, manufacturing or other sectors, our world-class fiber network will provide needed technology across the entire commercial spectrum.”

Shentel’s corporate mission is to provide rural communities the same advanced communications technologies and services as those found in larger metropolitan areas. In keeping with this commitment, Shentel Business partnered with MDREN to bring fiber through Western Maryland.  This partnership will enable Shentel Business to offer dedicated, Ethernet-based network connections with internet speeds from 20 Mbps up to 100 Gbps that are symmetrical and supported by service-level guarantees.

“This partnership is a great example of public-private partnership collaboration at its best. Together, MDREN is able to address unserved educational communities while Shentel steers its resources toward addressing unserved business communities in Western Maryland,” said MDREN Executive Director Ray Barghi. “We are pleased that in this partnership with Shentel, MDREN continues to emerge as a champion for unserved, underserved and underprivileged communities.”

For more information about Shentel Business, please visit or call 1-800-SHENTEL (1-800-743-6835).

About Shenandoah Telecommunications
Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel) provides a broad range of diversified communications services through its high speed, state-of-the-art wireless, cable and fiber optic networks to customers in the Mid-Atlantic United States. The Company’s services include: wireless voice and data; broadband internet, video, and digital voice; fiber optic Ethernet, wavelength and leasing; telephone voice and digital subscriber line; and tower colocation leasing. Shentel is the exclusive personal communications service (“PCS”) Affiliate of Sprint in a multi-state area covering large portions of central and western Virginia, south-central Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and portions of Maryland, Kentucky, and Ohio. For more information, please visit

MDREN is a significant technology service provider at the University System of Maryland. MDREN provides advanced network and professional service to more than 40 education, research, and public service institutions throughout Maryland and connections to regional and national resources. Since 1989 MDREN has been the trusted partner for accelerating education and research through collaboration, partnerships, and broadband connectivity for K-20 institutions in Maryland. For more information, please visit

The USM comprises 12 institutions and three regional centers. Systemwide, student enrollment exceeds 172,000. The USM and its institutions compete successfully nearly $1.5 billion in external grants and contracts annually. USM institutions and programs are among the nation’s best in quality and value according to several national rankings.