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Ortt disappointed broadband grants don’t cover more of Orleans and Niagara

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 March 2018 at 12:53 pm

State Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, said the state broadband grants announced last week only brings “peanuts” to Orleans and Niagara counties.

Orleans was approved for $36,669 in in state funding to expand broadband to 154 addresses with Hughes Network Systems LLC will be the contractor for the work in Orleans. Niagara County was approved for $173,487 for 955 addresses.

The Orleans numbers pale compared to other rural GLOW counties. In Genesee County, the state is providing $118,603 in grants for 519 addresses. In Livingston County, the state grants total $274,203 for 881 addresses, and in Wyoming County, the grants include $727,528 for 1,031 addresses.

Ortt released this statement today:

“After many broken promises – and half a billion dollars later – many residents of Niagara and Orleans County will not be receiving quality broadband services promised by the state. Significant work is underway by the private sector, but we are years away from seeing those results.

“When I saw the press release hailing the accomplishments of the New NY Broadband and announcing its conclusion, I asked ‘What about Orleans and Niagara?’ Apparently, someone else noticed that omission because another ‘final’ award went out, delivering peanuts and sub-par satellite coverage to many of my constituents. In a modern economy, families, schools, and small businesses rely on basic internet services and the state has absolutely failed them on this issue.”

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