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NY Funnels More Grant Money to Local ISPs

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the final round of grant funding for the New NY Broadband Program Jan. 31.

by Whitney Bashaw, The Daily Star / February 1, 2018

(TNS) — On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a few local recipients among the third and final round of grants for the New NY Broadband Program.

The program's stated initiative is to provide access to broadband for all New Yorkers, and local providers said that with this round of funding, that goal is within reach.

When the program was launched in 2015, 30 percent of New Yorkers lacked broadband coverage.

From a mixture of public and private funding, as well as federal moneys from the Connect America Fund, Round III produced $341.8 million for projects throughout the state, reaching 122,285 homes and businesses.

“In our customer area we will be very close to 100 percent coverage,” Jason Miller, general manager of DTC Cable Inc., said Wednesday. DTC Cable Inc., a subsidiary of the Delhi Telephone Company, received a $9,190,530 state grant, leveraged with $2 million in federal funds and $3 million invested by DTC, totaling $14,281,578.

DTC works in collaboration with Margaretville Telephone Company (MTC) and Delaware County Electric Cooperative, Inc., for the Delaware County Broadband Initiative. Miller said the project will cover 1,383 homes and businesses in the towns of Tompkins, Sidney, Walton, Franklin and Davenport.

Glen Faulkner, general manager of MTC, said these investments are key to economic development in the region. MTC subsidiary MTC Cable Inc. was awarded $4,877,133 in state aid to be leveraged with $6,367,183 in federal and private investment. Faulkner said MTC's plan is to expand their broadband infrastructure to cover 1,600 more homes and businesses.

"There are clearly economic, educational, and social disadvantages in communities where access to broadband service is lacking," Faulkner said. "We're fortunate to be a part of the Governor's vision, recognizing the rural segments of these regions and finding a financial solution to deliver broadband to these communities."

The towns of Conesville, Jefferson and Gilboa in Schoharie County and the towns of Colchester, Harpersfield, Roxbury and Stamford in Delaware County will gain broadband services.

Cuomo announced that “projects achieved through the New NY Broadband Program are a major step forward in creating the most robust broadband infrastructure network in the nation, while ensuring that reliable, high-speed Internet is available to all New Yorkers.”

Otsego Electric Cooperative CEO Tim Johnson said the $5,739,316 awarded by the state, and the $6,501,065 in federal and private funds will allow the cooperative to increase their infrastructure by 270 miles to reach 1,400 more homes and businesses, calling it “a great thing for rural Otsego County.”

©2018 The Daily Star (Oneonta, N.Y.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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