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Broadband in Taghkanic

The year ends with more town residents having access to high-speed broadband.

The well-attended Broadband Open House held in May gave residents the opportunity to speak with representatives from Mid-Hudson, Consolidated, GTel and Viasat Satellite Service. As a result, people learned about service available both now and the near future, with a number of new families enrolling in these improved broadband packages.

Our Representative Antonio Delgado held a congressional field hearing this October at Columbia-Greene Community College to address rural broadband access and continues his effort by urging Senate and House appropriations subcommittees to designate $605 million to the ReConnect program for grants to local businesses to expand broadband in rural areas.

Recently, the FCC announced a commitment of $9 billion subsidy program for mobile carriers to deploy 5G mobile services to rural America over the coming decade.

Mid-Hudson Cable and Consolidated Communications have finished their upgrades in the areas of Taghkanic they serve. GTel continues to fulfill its government grant obligations and install fiber-optic lines throughout our entire town. GTel has completed its infrastructure commitment for Phase 1 and now expects Phases 2 and 3 next year. It is concentrating on underserved areas, which includes much of our town.

GTel Installation Updates:

· There have been 24 Taghkanic homes installed to date and we expect to have 34 by New Year’s Eve. New installs are underway on Taghkanic, Sopak and Sugar Mountain Roads

· Strand is the overhead line to which fiber cable is then attached. Strand and cable have been installed in the following areas:

o New Forge Road

o Tompkins Road

o Route 27 from New Forge Road to and down Pumpkin Hollow Road

o Snydertown Road from Route 27 to Pinnacle Farms Road

o Martindale Road north of Route 11

· Strand and fiber has been installed on Taghkanic-Churchtown Road and is awaiting testing

· Strand only has been installed on Berkshire Road with the fiber to follow within weeks.

· Splicing work is now being augmented by a new outside contractor, ESC, in addition to Shupps and Gtel.

· Electric make-ready for Phase 3 continues with new work on Northern Utilities poles.

· There are new splicing cabinets on Taghkanic-Churchtown and Pumpkin Hollow Roads.

Despite all this work, final construction is now expected in the middle of next year for Phase 2 and the last half of next year for Phase 3. However, as work in a neighborhood is completed, Gtel plans to install the fiber to those homes.

Broadband service has been too long in coming but the end is in sight. Many families in Taghkanic now have upgraded service from Mid-Hudson and Consolidated while Gtel continues its infrastructure work and home connections. While this progress is encouraging, those families still struggling for high-speed service can now look forward to relief in 2020.

Happy New Year to All from the

Taghkanic Broadband Committee

Special thanks to Susan Raymond of the Broadband Committee for this contribution.

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