ONEIDA COUNTY RURAL TELEPHONE AWARDED GRANT TO EXPAND FIBER INTERNET TO HOMES Fiber Internet | By Northland Communications TeamOneida County Rural Telephone, an affiliate of Northland Communications, has been awarded a $3.29 million grant from the New York State Broadband Program Office to significantly expand its fiber-based, broadband network throughout its territory.This grant, plus an investment of $821,000 from Oneida County Rural Telephone, will allow the company to convert a large portion of its copper plant to fiber, and bring high-speed Internet service to more than 580 residents located in census blocks that currently do not have access to high-speed Internet. In conjunction with this grant, Oneida County Rural Telephone Co. will be expanding its fiber network in other census blocks that will pass an additional 1,000 homes within its existing service area. Parts of Western, Steuben, Remsen, Floyd, and Boonville will be included in the project.“Our existing fiber to the home broadband network passes over 300 homes and we are very pleased with the response we have received from our customer base. This grant will enable us to extend this network to the most rural areas of our territory that would have otherwise been cost-prohibitive,” said Jim McCarthy, president of Oneida County Rural Telephone Company.The support of New York State to expand the technology to rural areas strengthens our mission to bring high-speed Internet access to all of our customers. “This project will greatly improve the quality of life for our customers in the territory we serve, as well as our community as a whole,” said McCarthy.The New York Broadband Program was established in 2015 by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, with a $500 million budget to provide grant funding for projects to ensure all residents of New York State have access to bandwidth speeds of 100mbs or greater. The projects will be completed by December 31, 2018.