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Franklin Co. wants Development Association of the North Country

July 2, 2010
By JESSICA COLLIER, Enterprise Staff Writer

Franklin County is asking the Development Association of the North Country to bring its broadband Internet service to the area.

The Franklin County Legislature at its Thursday meeting passed a resolution, introduced by Legislator Paul Maroun, R-Tupper Lake, and supported by the rest of the board, requesting that DANC and its affiliates, SLIC Networks and Westelcom, extend its service into the county.

The networks these organizations already have set up run close to Franklin County, near both Tupper Lake and Malone, so it wouldn't be difficult to extend them into those areas, Maroun said in a phone interview Thursday after the meeting.

DANC is a nonprofit group that now runs a ring of fiber-optic broadband service through Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

A Plattsburgh organization, CBN Connect, has been working on a plan similar to DANC's to bring broadband to Franklin, Essex, Clinton, Hamilton, Warren and Washington counties, and also to install a telemedicine broadband system through much of that area. Maroun said he's not opposed to that plan, but it's been in the works for too long.

"It's been several years, and nothing's happened," Maroun said. "I just want to get fiber-optic in here as quick as possible so it can be used by the citizens."

CBN Connect unsuccessfully applied for the first round of federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act broadband funding, and the group again applied for the second round. Its officials expect to hear sometime this month whether it will be granted.

Maroun attended a Lake Placid summit of North Country broadband interests held by state Sen. Betty Little in May. There, he said, he spoke with DANC Executive Director Jim Wright, who was receptive to the idea of expanding into Franklin County.



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