LONG LAKE -- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that Empire State Development has approved a $1,370,306 grant to Slic Network Solutions Inc. for the Long Lake Next Generation Broadband project.
It is part of $14.5 million in grants to support nine projects to expand access to broadband services, including four in the North Country, at Long Lake, Schroon Lake, Bellmont and Lyon Mountain.
The nine projects will together deliver broadband services to 29,117 households, 2,052 businesses and 236 community anchor institutions, and will provide 614 miles of new fiber.
"Access to high speed Internet is a critical resource for businesses and residents in today's global economy," Cuomo said in a Dec. 26 press release. "These grants will connect underserved and rural communities to the many benefits of broadband access."
Most of the grant funding is for the "last-mile" of broadband service, meaning the projects will provide high-speed Internet connections directly to homes and businesses. The last-mile is the most expensive portion of a broadband network, and often prevents many rural residents from receiving broadband service.
The benefits of broadband access include e-commerce, e-government, telemedicine and distance learning, which are expected to result in job creation, improved healthcare, greater educational opportunities and a healthier economy.
The grants were awarded to Internet service companies who are partnering with local governments and economic development organizations.
Slic was awarded a $596,000 grant in early summer to help it run new "middle-mile" fiber-optic broadband cable from Tupper Lake to Long Lake. The grant came through the North Country Regional Economic Development Council.
At the time Slic Network Solutions President and Chief Technological Officer Phil Wagschal said Long Lake residents and businesses should have high-speed access to the Internet by the summer of 2014.
THE NINE PROJECTS
The following nine projects are receiving New York State Broadband Grants. They are listed from highest to lowest award.
• Open Access Fiber Network (Yates County) - $2,407,049
• Clarity Connect Inc. - Tompkins and Cayuga Ubiquitous Last Mile Coverage (various counties) - $2,216,000
• Slic Network Solutions Inc. - Schroon Lake Next Generation Broadband (Essex County) - $2,162,656
• New Visions Communications - Parish Broadband (Oswego County) - $1,999,584
• MTC Cable - MTC Broadband Build Out (various counties) - $1,800,000
• Slic Network Solutions Inc. - Long Lake Next Generation Broadband (Hamilton County) - $1,370,306
• Slic Network Solutions Inc. - Bellmont North Next Generation Broadband (Franklin County) - $1,012,366
• Slic Network Solutions, Inc. - Lyon Mountain Broadband (Clinton County) - $976,426
• Southern Tier West Development Foundation - Southern Tier Broadband (various counties) - $672,452