IDA Names Middleburgh Telephone
As ‘Telecom’ In Broadband Initiative
By JIM KEVLIN • allotsego.com
ONEONTA – The IDA board this morning named Middleburgh Telephone as the private entity in a four-part partnership that will seek to implement a $30 million program to provide broadband Internet service throughout Otsego County.
“Their credentials, their experience, the breadth of the company is a testimony to the organization,” said IDA President Sandy Mathis. Middleburgh Telephone is part of the Independent Network Operations Consortium, which has been providing Internet service, increasingly broadband, since 2001.
The three other prospective partners are the County of Otsego, the pass-through entity for the necessary grants; the IDA itself, the source of PILOTs and low-cost financing, and the Hartwick-based Otsego Electric Cooperative, which would bring its construction and maintenance crews into the mix.
Mathes said the next step is to begin talks to bring the four entities into the single partnership. With a study by FARR Communications detailed earlier this week, the partnership can then begin seeking grants.
State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, Tuesday announced a $250,000 grant as seed money for the undertaking. Connect NY funding may abe available as soon as February, said Mathes, who is also meeting next week with U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson’s broadband expert to being the process of obtaining USDA funding available for rural broadband access.