Connect New York Grants awarded to Jay, Wilmington

The Adirondacks are notably blank in this broadband availability map from broadbandmap.gov.

The Adirondacks are notably blank in this broadband availability map from broadbandmap.gov.

— Essex County officials are most pleased with Governor Cuomo’s recent announcement of the Connect New York Grants. Of the 25 million allocated throughout the state, $557,000 will go to expand broadband service to areas of Jay and Wilmington.

The project is a private/public partnership with charter communications who is the licensed franchised cable television operator for Jay and Wilmington. The broadband expansion will include building 27 miles of extension to the Charter Communications 750 mhz hybrid fiber-coax network to the unserved areas of Ausable Acres in the Town of Jay and Lenny Preston Road in the Town of Wilmington.

The purpose of the grant initiatives is to bring last mile, high speed internet access to everyone in the state. Many times, last mile construction is not constructed due to the cost of providing the service. However, recent initiatives by the state to improve the economy in rural areas has recognized the importance of bringing broadband to these communities and leveling the playing field.

Town of Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas has been working on the broadband expansion since taking office in 2004.

“I couldn’t be more pleased of the Governor’s announcement to bring broadband to Ausable Acres,” he said. “It is something that I have personally worked on for a very long time. It makes our area a more attractive place to live, work and play. We received over 30 letters of support from residents when writing the application. I feel that their overwhelming support helped lead to a successful application.”

“We are very happy with being awarded the grant which will help residents who telecommute and own small businesses in their homes,” Supervisor Randy Preston of the Town of Wilmington said.

“This was truly a team effort, Garrett Dague of the Community Resources Office and Tom Cohan of Charter Communications provided the lion’s share of the work in developing the application,” Community Resources Director Michael Mascarenas said. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome and appreciate the support we received from the North Country Economic Development Council.”

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