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Survey says: 78 percent have Internet in Hamilton County

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - Updated: 5:57 AM

By PETE KLEIN

Express News Staff

INDIAN LAKE - It came as a bit of a surprise when Bill Murphy, chairman of the Hamilton County Workforce Investment Board, told members that according to a recent survey about 3,700 households in the county have Internet access.

The information is part of the Federal Communications Commission’s annual report on the status of fixed broadband in the United States.

The National Broadband Map Data of June 2011 shows Hamilton County with a population of 4,848 and 1,072 (22 percent) without broadband access. Of the 78 percent with broadband access, 9 percent rely on cable and 76 percent on DSL.

Most residents within the county’s hamlets have Internet access, even if it is not of the speed they would prefer.

That is expected to change by the first of 2013, when Phase I of the Hamilton County Broadband Project is due to take effect. It will increase Internet speeds in Long Lake, Raquette Lake, Inlet, Blue Mountain Lake, Indian Lake, Wells and Speculator.

Even better coverage could follow in the years to come.

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council submitted its one-year progress report on its five-year strategic plan Sept. 14. It includes a list of the 21 priority projects the RED-C has endorsed for the second round of funding competition.

The Hamilton County Broadband Phase II project was endorsed by the RED-C and submitted to the state as a regional priority for the second round of competitive grant funding.

The project’s goal is to develop middle- and last-mile fiber connections in Hamilton County, part of bringing high-speed broadband access to all communities in the Adirondacks.

Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chairman William Faber said the RED-C strongly believes funding for Phase II will be approved.

ADIRONDACK

TELEWORKS

Murphy further reported Adirondack Teleworks is now more user friendly in that all one really needs to access all the information on the website is name and email address. Adirondack Teleworks has numerous job listings in a variety of fields, including work-from-home jobs.

Murphy said county residents as far north as Indian Lake will be able to apply for telecommuting jobs with Frontier Communications during its next job fair. Murphy believes this opportunity to train for and obtain a $26,000 per year job with benefits could be available by next spring or summer.

Also, Murphy reported, Adirondack Teleworks has recently hired Indian Lake Central School 2012 graduate Alyssa Cuthbert.

Murphy said he and Cuthbert would be meeting with town supervisors and department heads, first in Hamilton County and then throughout the Adirondacks, to speak on the opportunities for local residents to find work and attract entrepreneurs to live and work in the Adirondacks.

ADVISORY PANEL

In the past, the WIB has been primarily composed of elected and appointed county officials, plus a few who own or manage a small business. This could soon change, but it will depend on new people willing to get involved and offer their ideas on what could be done to improve the county’s economy.

Murphy suggested and members agreed the WIB has been too much of a top down group and should seek to add retirees, the self-employed and possibly even some employees of local businesses to an advisory group.

If interested contact Murphy at (518) 648-6410.

The WIB will next meet Tuesday, Nov. 6, starting at 9:30 a.m. in the Supervisors Chambers at the county courthouse in Lake Pleasant.

     

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