Oneida County Rural Telephone finishes fiber network expansion, part of ‘New NY Broadband Program’

More than 140 miles of new fiber lines expanded to rural communities; 1,600 households, businesses gain broadband access

Oneida County Rural Telephone, an affiliate of Northland Communications, is proud to announce the successful, on-time completion of construction of more than 140 miles of new fiber-optic lines as part of the “New NY Broadband Program,” an initiative to bring broadband access to all residents of New York state.

The construction of these lines will allow Oneida County Rural Telephone to offer high-speed broadband Internet service to more than 600 homes in unserved and underserved rural areas in the Mohawk Valley region.

This project was supported by $3.29 million in State funding and $821,000 in private matching funding from Oneida County Rural Telephone, for a total broadband investment of more than $4.1 million.

An additional $1.9 million invested by Oneida County Rural Telephone allowed the company to reach an additional 1,000 homes within its existing service area, including the towns of Steuben, Remsen, Floyd, Boonville and parts of Westernville.

In an effort to raise awareness locally, Oneida County Rural Telephone worked with a group of students from Holland Patent Central School, home of the Golden Knights, to name its now more widely available fiber Internet service. With the help of the school’s sixth-grade social studies classes, the company is proud to officially introduce “KnightSpeed.”

“This grant has enabled us to extend our network to the most rural areas of our territory that would have otherwise been cost prohibitive,” said Jim McCarthy, president of Oneida County Rural Telephone Company. “Thanks to New York State’s support, this project has benefitted not only our current customers but our community as a whole.”

“We congratulate Oneida County Rural Telephone on its launch of high-speed internet in partnership with the Broadband Program Office,” said Jeffrey Nordhaus, Empire State Development executive vice president of Innovation and Broadband. “Broadband is a necessity for all communities in today’s economy and this launch is bringing tremendous benefit to more than 600 locations in the Mohawk Valley, which will be connected to high-speed Internet for the very first time.”

The deadline to complete connection to homes and businesses on the route is Dec. 31, 2020. Oneida County Rural Telephone will be proactively reaching out to residents within their service area to schedule them to get connected to KnightSpeed. The company also hosts free “Cut The Cord” events regularly to educate customers and community members about streaming alternatives to cable television and how to best leverage their broadband. To sign-up for an upcoming session, visit ocrt.com/lp/cutthecord/.

For more information about KnightSpeed Internet and our fiber map, contact Oneida County Rural Telephone at (315) 865-5201 or visit ocrt.com/broadband/knightspeed/.

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