Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said nearly 1,000 homes and 2,600 residents will be receiving high speed internet service as part of $2 million in county broadband expansion projects.
“We are committed to bridging the gaps that became evident during the pandemic,” Picente said. “Lack of high-speed internet creates an inequity that puts students at a disadvantage, leaves businesses unable to modernize and limits growth in communities. Broadband is something everyone should have access to and this is a step toward making that a reality for everyone in Oneida County.”
The broadband expansion projects will span 10 areas, including six towns: Forestport, Ava, Boonville, Remsen, Augusta and Vienna. Two Internet service providers have been chosen through an RFP process: Adirondack Techs (nine project areas) and Charter (one area).
The $1,950,967 capital program also includes $150,000 in ISP investment, and nine of the 10 projects include a 2% revenue share to offset a percentage of the cost to the county.
Through an extensive mapping analysis between Oneida and Herkimer counties, Tug Hill Commission and Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, the Oneida County Department of Planning identified 2,079 Oneida County homes in approximately 32 project areas with clusters of 20 or more homes. This first step will reach 46% of the unserved homes identified.
Oneida County offered municipalities an opportunity to partner financially and leverage the funding to expand coverage even further in their towns. Picente made the expansion projects announcement in the Town of Vienna, which was the only one to take advantage of that offer and led to the town securing $226,761 to service 111 homes.
Picente utilized American Rescue Act funding to expand high speed internet service to underserved areas in Oneida County. That federal funding…