Local broadband providers awarded New NY Broadband Program funds

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CANTON Citizens Telephone Company in Hammond has received $3,316,810 in funding from the New NY Broadband Program, which will be used to expand its coverage area and update its current services, according to owner Don Ceresoli Sr.

We are going to put it right to work, he said. We are going to put the fiber in. A lot of our customers know about it already. Mr. Ceresoli said the company s current infrastructure is outdated, making it difficult for customers to access high speed internet.

Right now, we ve got copper for service. That is not efficient enough. You ve got to have the fiber, he said.

Citizens Telephone Company serves about 1,800 customers, according to the New NY Broadband website. Mr. Ceresoli said the company s coverage area includes the Rossie, Macomb and Hammond region.

It s a big area. I think that s why we qualified for that loan. That is what it is for, for the companies that have rural customers, Mr. Ceresoli said.

Mr. Ceresoli said he believes the funding will allow his company to reach another 10 percent of the area s population and provide them with high speed broadband. The $3.3 million from the state required a company match of $829,202, for a total project cost of $4,146,012. TDS Telecom has also received money from the New NY Broadband Program.

The company matched $1,084,000 in grant funding it received from the state for a total project cost of $2,168,000.

We anticipate receiving more details on the awards over the course of the next week. After TDS officially accepts the grants, then all of the work we ve done to this point to design and engineer the technical solutions to bring broadband to these areas can begin. We ll work with contractors, as well as our own crews, to begin work as soon as we can, said DeAnne R. Boegli, National Public Relations Manager for TDS Telecom. Ms.

Boegli said the company did not have an exact estimated completion date or a start date for the projects, but would be updating customers frequently.

TDS is very pleased with the outcome of this process and we are looking forward to connecting our customers in N.Y.

with high speed internet, they deserve it, she said in an email.

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