Columbia County to receive federal funds for broadband
Natasha Vaughn-Holdridge is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media that more than $800,000 in federal funding is expected for broadband in the towns of Ghent, Canaan, New Lebanon, and Austerlitz. Congress passed a $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill last week which allocates nearly $830,000 in funding, which will become available after the measure is signed into law by President Joe Biden. A broadband study conducted for Columbia County in 2021, found there are more than 1,200 unserved addresses that do not have access to broadband. Columbia Economic Development Corporation President and CEO F. Michael Tucker said, “With these funds it is anticipated that close to 25 percent of those addresses will get access to broadband service, reducing the need for the funding necessary to serve all of Columbia County.” Three hundred homes and businesses of the 1,250 unserved addresses in the county are located in the four towns named, Tucker said. “We have seen estimates of $10 million to $12 million needed to serve all 1,250 addresses but are awaiting detailed cost estimates from the four broadband providers in the county," he said. The four towns began issuing Requests for Proposals for the broadband work in January. U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado announced he voted for the federal bill last week, which his office said included funding for nine Delgado-led community projects in the district. “The investments in this package address some of our nation’s biggest challenges while providing much needed support to my constituents in upstate New York,” the Rhinebeck Democrat said in a statement. “With this funding we are investing in the middle class, lowering costs for working families, creating American jobs and supporting vulnerable folks in our communities.” Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.