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Slic expanding broadband in Franklin County

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Areas of the towns of Brandon, Dickinson, Bangor and Moira currently without broadband Internet service could get added to the network this summer, according to Slic Network Solutions’ plans.

The company, which just celebrated its first year of offering television service, plans to finish running fiber-optic cable to some of the unserved pockets in those communities, according to Slic sales engineer Jeff Yette.

The plans to finish some smaller extensions of the fiber-optic line in Franklin County are part of an overall plan to complete expansion in Bellmont and Clinton County’s Lyon Mountain, Mr. Yette said.

The Bellmont and Lyon Mountain expansion is part of a group of five separate projects funded by a $6.1 million NYS Connect program grant. These projects are slated to bring 165 miles of fiber-optic cable to the north country.

These projects will pass 2,500 houses and more than 100 businesses in Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties. The new service areas include Lyon Mountain in the town of Dannemora, North Hudson in the town of North Hudson, Schroon Lake in the town of Schroon, Long Lake in the town of Long Lake and Brainardsville in the town of Bellmont, according to previous reports.

Mr. Yette said Slic’s service expansions have been financed through state and federal grants. The company is looking into additional grants to continue its expansion and is applying for grants for projects in Franklin County.

Mr. Yette said the grants being used for this summer’s projects are grants the company applied for in 2011.

When the grant money is given out among broadband companies, it is given to the areas where it will affect the largest number of homes. Mr. Yette said if two areas need similar dollar amounts to provide the service, the funding will go to the area where the installation will service a greater number of homes and get as many people on broadband as possible.

Slic still has some funding available to provide free installation and hook-ups for customers in new service areas.

Throughout this past year, Slic completed more than 1,000 miles of fiber-optic cable installation in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties, according to previous reports. The projects were funded largely by grants and loans from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; the funds totaled more than $33 million. The expansion allowed 1,000 previously unserved north country residents to access high-speed Internet service, bringing Slic’s total customer count to more than 3,600.

Mr. Yette said the past year was the company’s first time offering video services through their myEVTV network. The company has been in the phone business for more than 110 years, in partnership with Nicholville Telephone, and Internet service has been provided by the company since the late 1980s or early 1990s.

Mr. Yette said the idea of providing TV was brand new. The company had to build a satellite dish farm and obtain video equipment.

Mr. Yette said Slic is planning to add pay-per-view and is looking into TV Everywhere.

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