The Broadband For All program allotted $24.5 million to Washington County to invest in increased access to broadband service. Much of the work has already been done but has been slowed by the pandemic.
(TNS) — SLIC Network Solutions hopes to deliver broadband Internet services to some areas of
The Broadband For All program allotted $24.5 million to
Lynch said SLIC Network Solutions was awarded the grant in
"It took quite a while from the time that the grants were announced and we actually had awards that we could take action on," Lynch said.
Much of the work has already been done but has been slowed by the pandemic. The problem, which existed before the coronavirus pandemic, has also been exacerbated as students school remotely from home.
Lynch admitted the process has taken a long time.
SLIC uses existing poles to run the fiber optics. The company needs permission from
"However, because of the large amount of broadband activity across the state, as well as, I think some of you are aware, the charter mandate to build out to several hundred thousand additional homes, put a lot of stress on the system," he told supervisors. "So even though we applied as early as
Every pole has to be photographed and engineered.
"So it's a pretty involved process," Lynch explained.
Once those poles are "made ready," it is safe to attach the fiber optics.
"Our goal is to have all this project done by the end of the year," Lynch said. "And we are pushing hard to do that."
Construction is presently going on in the town of
"The electrical infrastructure is quite old in parts of the county, which means the poles tend to be shorter and further apart, which does add some challenges," Lynch said.
Once completed, the base service will start at $60 a month, with discounts available for families who receive free or reduced lunch, senior citizens and people on Social Security Disability.
"We do realize how incredibly important broadband is, and so we're trying to get it out to everyone," Lynch said. "And if there are areas where we're not covering or we can partner with other companies or we can do creative solutions, we are very open to that."
This news came as a relief to supervisors, who have been lobbying state officials for months to try to improve broadband access in the county.
"The southern part of the county has dramatic needs," Clary said.
©2020 The Post Star, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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