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Federal funds used to get 74 local homes broadband service

Nov 02, 2022 12:11 pm

Melanie Lekocevic reports for Capital Region Independent Media that seventy four homes in the southern Albany County town of Coeymans ("Quee-mans") recently got broadband service from $400,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds. “This area probably would not have gotten connectivity given how sparse it is with houses,” Coeymans Town Supervisor George McHugh said about the new service from State Telephone. “We wanted to get connectivity in an area that we knew wouldn’t be an attractive area for State Tel or any of the other providers because that is the hole that we needed to fill with this money.... For instance, Lindskoog Road is getting it right now from Mid-Hudson Cable, but that is easy — it is very congested, there are over 50 homes in a two-mile stretch,” McHugh said. “They will hook that up and run fiber without any incentive. This needed incentivizing.” In 2011, Mid-Hudson Cable gave back a $3.5 million “rural broadband” grant awarded in 2010 from the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Services programs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, free Wi-Fi was set up in the parking lot of National Bank of Coxsackie in Faith Plaza on Route 9W in Coeymans, because so many students lacked broadband service at home. Fifteen of the seventy-four homes are already hooked up to the service. “And we’ve got more orders pending,” State Telephone Vice President Mark Evans said. Read the full story at TheUpstater.com.