Slic accepts $33 million grant to expand broadband access in county
POTSDAM -- Slic Network Solutions President and General Manager Phillip Wagschal officially received a $33,161,409 grant and loan funding package this afternoon from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Broadband Initiatives Program to bring broadband access to sparsely populated rural areas of the country.
Wagschal said, “We will create jobs to install and maintain this expanded high-speed broadband network, to areas currently unserved. This project will add to the region’s property tax base, and create unprecedented opportunities for North Country residents to benefit from access to the Internet.”Slic, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nicholville Telephone Company, was awarded the grant through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service.
Before such targeted funding assistance became available, usually through a combination of grants and loans, broadband providers were unable to afford to build the infrastructure needed to provide high-speed internet access that businesses require to locate in rural areas.
“I am delighted that Recovery Act funding will assist Slic Network Solutions with their ambitious plan to add nearly 800 miles of fiber optic cable to their network,” said Jessica Zufolo, Deputy Administrator of RUS.
Jill Harvey, New York State Director for USDA Rural Development, said, “These BIP awards will bring greatly improved Internet access to thousands of homes and hundreds of small businesses and key community institutions such as libraries, hospitals, and public safety centers.”
Further information on USDA rural programs is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ny.