Press-Republican

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February 22, 2014

AuSable Acres broadband grant approved

PLATTSBURGH — A broadband project to provide service to remote parts of the towns of Jay and Wilmington received final approval Friday of a $557,000 broadband grant.

Jay Town Supervisor Randy Douglas said the it will bring service to about 800 homes, mainly in the AuSable Acres area.

“This will make the people I represent in AuSable Acres very happy,” he said Friday.

The towns are working with Charter Communications on the project.

SUMMER COMPLETION

The partners are already negotiating with New York State Electric & Gas and Frontier Communications on an agreement to use 750 of their utility poles to run 22 miles of fiber-optic lines.

“We hope to have the whole project completed by the end of summer,” Douglas said. 

He said he has pushed for coverage of these unserved areas since he took office in 2004.

It finally became a reality when they were able to take advantage of the state’s desire to fund public/private partnership projects.

FILLING GAPS

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas, co-chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, said broadband service has been one of the council’s priorities since it was formed in 2011.

“The progress since then has been amazing, and these awards will fill additional gaps in places like Jay and Wilmington, taking us closer to comprehensive coverage,” he said. 

The announcement was made after the Empire State Development Board of Directors gave its final approval of $9 million in broadband grants. 

As well, the Development Authority of the North Country received $2.7 million. That includes $2.2 million for creation of a North Country Public Safety Network to expand services to 21 public emergency locations in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

The announcement also includes $5.25 million for Time Warner Cable to expand broadband service throughout its territory, which includes the North Country.

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