Filed for $ 22 million to provide broadband to Southern Zodiac homes

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An economic development agency is seeking federal funding to provide high-speed internet access to rural residents in parts of the Southern Tier.

The Southern Tier 8 Regional Board has requested $ 22 million to connect 895 residential addresses to broadband service.

Agency executive director Jen Gregory said such access was “almost the most important infrastructure” for the region to create jobs and “improve quality of life and general opportunities”.

The cost of providing high speed Internet service to the “hardest-to-connect” households is significant. This plan to offer additional access is more than $ 24,500 per address.

Gregory said Southern Tier 8 is working with three broadband providers to expand fiber broadband access.

Vendor representatives said the cost to residential customers would likely be $ 60 to $ 80 per month.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is expected to announce its decision on the grant application by the end of this month.

The grant would be used to provide fiber broadband access to households in the cities of Caroline, Coventry, Danby, Germany, Guilford, McDonough, Newfield, Oxford and Taylor.

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: [email protected].

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