Allegany County has recently announced the creation of a county-wide broadband cost-sharing program for rural residents.
Last Thursday the Allegany County Board of Commissioners voted to establish a $500,000 program for last-mile fiber broadband companies. The funds came from the county’s $14 million APRA allotment. Additionally $50,000 was set aside for some households to complete their connection.
Jake Shade, commission president, said the county is making broadband access a priority.
“The total is $550,000 with the $50,000 made available directly to residents,” said Shade. “So if you have a big bill basically, or big cost, to run Comcast, or whoever the provider is to your house, we will pay half the cost. This is a pilot program. This is the first time we have ever done this before because we are trying to connect that last mile. So that will be $50,000 of it. That will be available for individual residents as well as neighbors and the county will cover half the cost.”
“We think we can really get some good coverage out of this,” he said. “The other $500,000 will be ISP (internet service) providers which they can apply for (funding). They will come to us and say, ‘We can expand service to this many households and there will be a grant as long as they can do that.’ We think it will be good moving forward. We have covered the main areas with broadband and now it’s the bits and pieces to finish to move forward.”