The state has awarded Oneida County Rural Telephone a grant of more than $3 million to “significantly” expand its fiber-based, broadband network throughout its territory.
Oneida County Rural Telephone is an affiliate of Syracuse–based Northland Communications.
The company will use the grant funding from the New York State Broadband Program Office to convert a large portion of its copper plant to fiber, according to a news release it issued Wednesday. The effort will enable Oneida County Rural Telephone to bring high-speed internet service to more than 580 residents located in census blocks that currently do not have access to high-speed internet.
Besides the state grant, Oneida County Rural Telephone will also spend $821,000 of its own money on the project.
In conjunction with the grant, Oneida County Rural Telephone Co. plans to expand its fiber network in other census blocks that will include an additional 1,000 homes within its existing service area.
The project will impact parts of Western, Steuben, Remsen, Floyd and Boonville, the company said.
“Our existing fiber to the home broadband network passes over 300 homes and we are very pleased with the response we have received from our customer base. This grant will enable us to extend this network to the most rural areas of our territory that would have otherwise been cost prohibitive,” Jim McCarthy, president of Oneida County Rural Telephone Company, said in the company’s news release.
The firm contends the support of New York to expand technology to rural areas “strengthens our mission” to bring high-speed internet access to all of its customers.
“This project will greatly improve the quality of life for our customers in the territory we serve, as well as our community as a whole,” said McCarthy.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo established the New York Broadband Program in 2015 with a $500 million budget.
The program seeks to provide grant funding for projects to ensure all residents of New York have access to bandwidth speeds of 100 mbs or greater.
The projects will be completed by the end of 2018.
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