Empire State Development funds New York fiber-based broadband projects

2012-11-20 14:16:28

The Empire State Development (ESD) authority, New York’s chief economic development agency, will provide more than $5.8 million in funding for a pair of fiber-based broadband access network projects in the state. The funding is part of a recently approved slate of $24,928,640 for a variety of projects aimed at increasing economic development throughout the State of New York.

 The first grant, worth $3,175,700, will go to ION Newco Corp., a for-profit company based in Albany. ION has partnered with the Development Authority of the North Country (DANC) to pool resources, including DANC’s approximately 750-mile fiber route throughout the rural North Country of New York state, to deliver broadband services. The project will reach the largest population of unserved (121) and underserved (32) communities in rural New York, according to ESD.

The project will see 1308 plant miles of middle-mile fiber throughout the area at a total cost of $41,121,479. The project began in September 2010 and is expected to be finished in March 2014.Meanwhile, SLIC Network Solutions, Inc., operating in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, will receive a pair of grants from ESD worth $2,225,033 and $425,987, respectively. SLIC has previously developed and managed last-mile fiber-optic networks in Canton, Potsdam, and Massena. The first ESD grant will assist this project, which has a total cost of more than $30 million. The project includes the deployment of 660 miles of fiber-optic cable to bring broadband services to 5856 unserved households in St Lawrence County. This project also launched in September 2010 and is expected to be complete in March 2014.

 The second grant to SLIC will help fund an effort to deploy 136 miles of fiber-optic cable and buy equipment and electronics to bring broadband services to 726 unserved households in remote western Franklin County. The project has the same start and end dates as the other two.

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