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Stimulus money will expand access to broadband in the North Country

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Almost $50 million in federal and state stimulus money will go towards building a better broadband network across upstate New York. The Development Authority of the North Country, based in Watertown, and Albany-based telecommunications firm, ION, will run the project. Martha Foley has more.

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Melody Mayberry-Stewart directs the state Office for Technology. She says many rural communities still don't have broadband Internet or are underserved, "this project is to put that wide, broadband capacity in place so that a lot of other institutions will continue to be able to put their last mile projects in place, which is where you're connecting the broadband to the ultimate consumer."

Mayberry-Stewart says the project will create more than 1,300 miles of new fiber optic cable, connecting libraries, state colleges and universities, and health clinics across Upstate New York, and parts of Pennsylvania and Vermont.

An additional $4.3 million will go to Slic Network Solutions, based in Potsdam, to build a fiber optic network linking five rural towns in Franklin County. Those towns are Malone, Dickinson, Moira, Brandon, and Bangor.

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