Remote parts of Washington County to see internet needs met by end of 2020

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Putnam, Jackson and Dresden aren’t just a few of the more remote points of the largely rural Washington County. They’re also among those set to have broadband internet access by the end of the year, thanks to a program the county got started on in 2018.

And it couldn’t come at a better time, especially for students and workers struggling to stay connected in a COVID-19 world.

In a meeting of the Washington County Board of Supervisors, Kevin Lynch from SLIC Network Solutions said that work is being done currently to lay cable in Dresden, Putnam, Jackson, Easton and Hebron, as well as along Route 18 outside of Whitehall.

It’s places like those, and also her own town, that Salem Supervisor Evera Sue Clary had in mind when she mentioned the demand for internet for students learning remotely. In a phone interview, she said she had seen farmers struggle to meet the need as well, as having a web presence becomes more expected.

The effort has taken time. SLIC has to use National Grid poles for broadband cable, and needs the company’s permission, as well as their contractors, to make installations. Some poles have had to be replaced, which can cost as much as $12,000 for a single pole.

Coverage is planned to start at $60 per month once areas are enabled for broadband.

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