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Schumer calls for broadband funds


January 23, 2013

ALBANY, NY — U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer is calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to relax current standards so that Hudson Valley telecommunications companies can access over $485 million in available funds aimed at deploying broadband across the country.

Schumer noted that the FCC will only unlock this funding for companies that can provide broadband for less than $775 per household, and only in specific types of areas. Schumer noted that Frontier Communications, the local telecommunications company, did accept some funding in 2012, but was unable to invest it in the Hudson Valley region because of the restrictions in these federal rules.

Frontier has stated that it can and would use this FCC funding anywhere in its footprint, including Orange County, to upgrade copper lines to provide broadband. The commission has allocated millions in unused funds for this exact purpose, and increased FCC flexibility would give Frontier the opportunity to bring this service to Orange and Sullivan counties’ businesses and homeowners.

“Businesses and homeowners throughout Orange and Sullivan counties should no longer hear a dial-tone when it comes to accessing broadband service,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I’m urging the FCC to increase their flexibility when it comes to allowing telecommunications companies in the Hudson Valley to access over $485 million in unused funding set aside for the deployment of broadband.”