For Immediate Release
August 4th, 2010
*** News Release ***
CONGRESSMAN MURPHY ANNOUNCES NEARLY $3.5 MILLION IN RURAL BROADBAND FUNDING TO EXPAND BROADBAND IN THE HUDSON VALLEY
$3.5 Million in USDA Funding Coming to Mid-Hudson Cablevision to Expand Service to Columbia and Greene Counties
Murphy: Expanding High-Speed Broadband to Rural Counties Essential to Renewing Upstate New York’s Economy
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Scott Murphy (NY-20) announced that Mid-Hudson Cablevision will receive $3,473,919 in USDA funding for rural broadband infrastructure projects. After speaking with James Reynolds, President of Mid-Hudson Cablevision, Murphy sent letters and made calls in support of their application, in addition to working with the USDA.
This funding will allow Mid-Hudson Cablevision to expand coverage in Columbia and Greene counties, specifically the Towns of Ashland, Jewett, Lexington, Cairo, Catskill, Windham, Coxsackie and New Baltimore in Greene County, and The Towns of Taghkanic, Copake, Claverack, Ghent, Chatham, Hillsdale and Austerlitz in Columbia County. Rural broadband funding is critical to creating new local jobs, and expanding long-term economic development opportunities for communities.
“This is great news for the Hudson Valley. Expanding rural broadband in our Upstate communities is key to building businesses and creating jobs,” said Rep. Murphy. “This is one of the most critical issues for our rural communities. This project will benefit everyone from farmers and small businesses looking to sell their products online, to volunteer firefighters needing high-speed Internet to keep the public safe. Broadband investments like this are a critical component of my Renew Upstate New York plan, and will help ensure the 20th District becomes a leader in the 21st century economy.”
“We are very pleased to receive the news that we are being awarded this grant,” said James Reynolds, President of Mid-Hudson Cablevision. “These tax payer dollars will help us to continue the work we have been engaged in for 30 plus years. This government support will help make it possible to extend service to rural marketplaces that would otherwise be very difficult reach. We will be moving as quickly as possible to move forward with the outlined in our proposal and certainly appreciate all of the support and assistance that we received from Congressman Scott Murphy.”
Congressman Murphy is continuing to travel around the district to work with private industry and the communities of the 20th District to build on his plan to Renew Upstate New York’s economy. More information on Murphy’s Renew Upstate New York economic development plan is available at http://www.ScottMurphy.house.gov/RenewUpstateNewYork.
Mid-Hudson Cablevision is an independent cable operator that has provided service to the rural marketplace in New York State’s Columbia, Greene and Southern Albany Counties since 1971. This $3.5 million USDA award with an additional $1.5 million in applicant-provided match will allow Mid-Hudson Cable to bring high speed broadband to this rural region located in the 75 mile corridor between New York City and the state Capital in Albany. Mid-Hudson Cable’s project stands to benefit over 20,000 people. In addition, over 3,000 businesses and 100 community institutions stand to benefit from this project. Not only will this project create jobs upfront, but it will also help drive economic development in the community that will help create jobs for years to come.
In 2006, Mid-Hudson Cable was awarded a RUS Broadband loan to build new infrastructure to deliver Broadband to this rural marketplace and they successfully completed more than 100 miles of plant to serve this region and repaid the loan in full. Now the same experienced Management Team is prepared to replicate that previous success with their Round 2 BIP application plans to extend Last-Mile Broadband to un-served and under-served areas in the Towns of Ashland, Jewett, Lexington, Cairo, Catskill, Windham, Coxsackie and New Baltimore in Greene County, and The Towns of Taghkanic, Copake, Claverack, Ghent, Chatham, Hillsdale and Austerlitz in Columbia County. These proposed projects will help to bring the availability of Broadband to a significant number of rural communities and it is the kind of initiative that will have a substantial favorable impact on economic development and job creation.
Murphy previously introduced the Rural Broadband Initiative Act of 2010 to expand access to broadband Internet in rural areas by eliminating red tape and developing a comprehensive strategy to link our rural communities to high-speed Internet connections. The Rural Broadband Initiative Act of 2010 would amend the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to create a new Office of Rural Broadband Initiatives within the Department of Agriculture, centralizing authority and funding for new broadband development and allowing for greater accountability to ensure that investments achieve results.