Sign up to receive a copy of our quarterly e-newsletter and stay up to speed on AdkAction.org events, elections, and activities.
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 Adirondacks team, in particular Dave Mason and Kevin Lynch
- Mark Dzwonczyk, President of Slic Network Solutions
- Brian Towers, Supervisor, Town of Wells, Hamilton County
- Bill Farber, Chairman, Hamilton County Board of Supervisors
Dave Wolff, Mark Dzwonczyk and Bill Farber submitted the grant proposal. Late in 2011 the North Country was awarded $103.2 million in state funding to support 70 projects across the region. The awards included $596,000 for Slic Network Solutions to install 25 miles of fiber optic cable (middle-mile cable ) from Tupper Lake to Long Lake. Slic plans to begin installation of the fiber during the second half of 2012.
Hamilton County has virtually no high-speed broadband available for a permanent population of fewer than 5,000. There is no fiber connectivity in the county and only about 5% of the residents have access to cable broadband.
AdkAction.org sees universal broadband as a key to a sound economic future in Adirondack communities. We have been working with a coalition of local government, business and Internet service providers for more than a year to improve broadband access in the Park. The collaborative efforts began when AdkAction.org proposed that the Tri-Lakes enter a national contest run by Google, which was offering to install affordable, ultra-high-speed broadband for the winning community. Although the Tri-Lakes was not chosen by Google, the creative application process led to formation of an ad hoc, inter-community group which continues to press for improved broadband service in the Adirondacks.