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Officials Work to Improve Broadband in Upstate New York

Bringing better wireless broadband to Sullivan County, N.Y., has long been a priority for officials, and the county legislature has now unanimously approved the Broadband Access Local Development Corporation.

by Mike Randall, The Times Herald-Record / August 21, 2020
Shutterstock/arturnichiporenko

(TNS) — Bringing better wireless broadband service to Sullivan County, N.Y., has long been a top priority for officials.

On Thursday, the county legislature unanimously approved creating the Broadband Access Local Development Corporation.

That LDC will be mandated to acquire, finance, dispose of, lease and/or license land, towers and broadcast equipment to bring broadband service to underserved and unserved areas of Sullivan County.

“Sullivan County has long been of only mild interest to broadband providers,” said Legislature Chairman Robert Doherty. ‘So we’re stepping in to give the kind of internet service our residents and businesses have to have.”

The action came a week after Information Technology Services Commissioner Lorne Green told lawmakers the county’s ambitious wireless broadband project could reach up to 60 percent of the local population using current technology.

Green said a county-wide predictive study found that could be done by mounting cell-based broadcast equipment on 12 towers – nine that are county-owned, one which is privately owned and two which are scheduled to be built by next year.

Legislators have authorized Green and his staff to launch a pilot project in the Monticello area later this year. If that proves successful, the service would be rolled out county-wide, using a mix of grants and revenue from subscribers to the service.

©2020 The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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