Sign up to receive a copy of our quarterly e-newsletter and stay up to speed on AdkAction.org events, elections, and activities.
Over the past two years, the North Country has received over $7M in Regional Economic Development Council Grants to fund 6 Broadband projects. Last fall, Governor Cuomo announced the Connect NY Broadband Grant Program to help fund the expansion of high-speed Internet access in unserved and underserved areas of New York. This past March, he announced the recipients of the 18 Connect NY grants. Building on its successful track record justifying expansion of Broadband to unserved and underserved areas, the North Country received over 20% of the Connect NY monies awarded (a total of $5.48M to fund 6 projects). The North Country Broadband projects that received funding will benefit the Towns of Thurman, Bellmont, Schroon, North Hudson, Jay, and Wilmington; the Community of Lyon Mountain; and Hamilton County.
This map of the recently funded projects shows the widespread impact they will have on the Adirondacks.
AdkAction.org is now sponsoring a monthly call bringing together Adirondack communities, potential broadband providers, and potential funders. This call, which has attracted participation from key executives of the Rural Utilities Services Agency of the USDA (responsible for rural broadband expansion in the US), and the NYS Broadband Program Office (developers of the requirements for state grant applications), has helped open communications so that all interested parties understand the need for and benefits of broadband access in the North Country, the possibilities and challenges of available technologies, and the potential funding opportunities. We believe by bringing this group together we can move towards our goal of bringing universal access to high-speed broadband to the North Country, access which a recent study shows can greatly benefit the economic viability of North Country communities. (to view a complete list of call participants click here)
AdkAction.org Chair Dave Wolff was a key participant behind a successful application for a state grant of almost $600,000 announced in December, 2011, that will bring the first-ever Broadband service to Hamilton County, starting with Long Lake.
Dave first outlined the idea in a presentation in September, 2011 at an Adirondack Park Broadband Symposium hosted by Congressman Chris Gibson. Dave then worked with the following people on development of the grant proposal:
Members of the Google the Adirondack team, in particular Dave Mason and Kevin LynchMark Dzwonczyk, President of Slic Network SolutionsBrian Towers, Supervisor, Town of Wells, Hamilton CountyBill Farber, Chairman, Hamilton County Board of Supervisors.
Hamilton County has virtually no high-speed broadband available for a permanent population of fewer than 5,000. There is no fiber or 4G connectivity in the county and only about 5% of the residents have access to cable broadband. A proposal was submitted to extend middle- mile fiber optic cable from Tupper Lake to Long Lake as the first step in bringing high-speed Internet service to Hamilton County.
In December, 2011, the North Country was awarded $103.2 million in state funding to support 70 projects across the region. The award included $596,000 for Slic Network Solutions to install 25 miles of fiber optic cable (middle-mile cable) from Tupper Lake to Long Lake in response to the proposal from Dave Wolff and his collaborators. Slic plans to begin installation of the fiber during the second half of 2012.