Steuben County applying for NTIA Broadband Grant

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FILE – This May 18, 2021, photo shows a woman typing on a laptop on a train in New Jersey. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) — Steuben County is applying for a NTIA Broadband Grant that could provide $4 million to serve 2,400 homes.

According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the NTIA administers grant programs that further the deployment and use of broadband and other technologies in America.

Jack Wheeler, Steuben County Manager, said whether it is the American Recovery Plan or the Infrastructure Bill being considered in Congress, there is a lot of money on the federal level for broadband internet.

“We’ve tried to leverage a number of federal funding opportunities and state funding opportunities over the last decade,” said Wheeler. “Some have been successful, but they’ve been smaller projects. We haven’t received grants for a very large project like some other counties have.”

Wheeler said it is a challenge without state or federal funding, so the county will continue to be creative and look at every funding opportunity there is.

“Grant applications like this are going to be very important,” said Wheeler. “For a county of our size… we have [people that are] unserved or underserved.”

Wheeler said he expects the county to know if they are awarded the grant by the end of the year. If the county does get the grant, it could take a year or two to see its effects.

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