A total of $9,759,899 has been awarded to StateTel and Mid-Hudson Cablevision, to improve upon and/or deliver broadband internet within Greene County as part of Round I Grants from the New NY Broadband Program.
The announcement was made by Governor Cuomo during a Wednesday, August 3rd press conference in Hudson, attended by Legislators, Business and Municipal leaders from Greene & Columbia Counties, including Greene County District 4 Legislator and Chairman Kevin Lewis.
“This is a monumental investment into broadband availability and upgrade of speed for Greene County residents and local businesses!” said Greene County District 9 Legislator Aidan O’Connor on social media, “I will share additional information regarding which specific areas will benefit from this grant when that information is made available” (Pictured below left to right are: Greene County District 6 Legislator – Lori Torgersen, Village of Catskill President – Heather Bagshaw. Legislator O’ Connor, Greene County District 1 Legislator – Matt Luvera, and Town of Catskill Supervisor – Doreen Davis)
The program press release identified 14 awards totaling $51,163,873 in grants as part of the program’s first round. The two firms that serve Greene County received $9,729,899 or just over 19% of the grant pool.
For State Telephone Company, the $8.7 Million grant (2nd highest in the state) will allow the company to expand into medium and rural density areas it would not be able to afford to go into, otherwise.
“Because they are so rural and you have so few homes in some places, it would not make economic sense for a company like ours to do it, but with the money from the grant it makes it feasible to run the cable to those places and provide those services,” said Mark Evans, vice president of State Telephone Company.
Coverage will be expanded in the company’s existing territories of New Lebanon and Coxsackie, as well as the town of Athens, Evans said.
“When we expand, we will then be able to offer higher speed to everybody that we pass with fiber,” Evans said. “For any customer that we are able to put fiber optic down their road, they will have access to fiber optic to the home, which is the absolute fastest medium for getting Internet access. We will do 100 mbps service to any home that gets our service.”
Mid-Hudson Cable also plans to upgrade its services with $1 Million from the grant to provide faster Internet speeds for customers.
The company applied for the grant with Mid-Hudson Data, which provides wireless signals to areas that are not covered with hardwire. The company serves areas that previously did not have access to wireless Internet with a wireless speed.
“The grant is addressing areas that have no service and so the areas that we applied for in the grant, they will get service either through a fiber connection or a wireless connection,” said James Reynolds, the president of Mid-Hudson Cable. “We provided specific areas that we were going to build fiber to the home and then we also provided areas where we would provide wireless service.”
After the company receives more details about the grant in the coming days it will apply for equipment and start working.
Major objectives and milestones of the New NY Broadband Program include:
- 97 Percent of New Yorkers Will Have Access to High-Speed Broadband, With Goal of Serving All New Yorkers by End of 2018
- 50 Percent of Un-served Homes and Businesses to Be Addressed By Round I Broadband Grants and Charter Rollout
- More Than 2 Million Upstate Households to Receive Speed Upgrades by Early 2017 – Nearly 2 Years Ahead of Schedule