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January 3, 2014

Firm gets grant to expand broadband

By Joe Mahoney Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Margaretville Telephone Co. has secured a state grant of $320,500 to expand wireless broadband service in rural areas of Roxbury in Delaware County and Conesville and Gilboa in Schoharie County.

“The need is definitely out there for broadband,” said MTC Controller Donald Bramley.

The new grant, secured by the Southern Tier Economic Development Council, comes on the heels of a $1.8 million matching Connect New York award that MTC netted in 2013 for fiber optic network expansion.

Bramley told The Daily Star his company said the grant for high-speed wireless broadband could attract as many as 900 new customers to the company’s menu of internet services.

He said the equipment that will allow subscribers to connect to broadband will be strategically located in places where residents have signaled they are interested in acquiring broadband connectivity.

MTC is planning to use towers in Grand Gorge and Stamford through a relationship with Delaware County Emergency Services. The grant will also help fund a new tower for transmitting the broadband signal.

The company is hoping that the wireless service will become available either late this year or early in 2015.

Broadband accessibility, he said, has become crucial for many businesses, and homeowners are in a better position to market their property if their real estate is in an area that is served by broadband.

The pricing for the wireless broadband service has not yet been determined, Bramley said. When it becomes available, subscribers will be able to bundle it with other services, such as cable television and internet telephone, he said.