FCC program could be key to high-speed internet for Washington County residents

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Washington County is surveying its residents as part of an effort to map out who needs access to broadband internet, and where they are.

But the number of new cables that get laid doesn’t matter if nobody can afford them.

That’s why the county is promoting the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program, which offers $50 off monthly broadband bills for people who win one of several criteria, including income lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic was what motivated the county to put new efforts into extending broadband internet access into the county’s furthest reaches, like Dresden and Putnam.

Network company SLIC Solutions has been laying new cable since last year, and they and other companies will be responsible for laying down new cable once the county gets the funding to ask for it.

For now, the county is asking residents to fill out a survey detailing what their internet outlook is like. The survey can be found online, as well as in town halls, schools and post offices around the county.

Those interested can call 833-511-0311 to see if they qualify for FCC aid getting broadband.

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