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Mohawk Networks Not Chosen for Round 1 of Governor Cuomo's New NY Broadband Program Grant

Aug 15, 2016

Tribally Owned Company Continues Service Expansion in Lewis County

Akwesasne, NY- One year ago, the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe launched a plan to connect residential and commercial customers in Northern New York to reliable, cost-effective broadband service through an expansion of their current infrastructure, Mohawk Networks, LLC. The off-territory subsidiary, North Country Broadband, LLC has begun a testing phase with twenty residential customers in Lewis County while simultaneously submitting an application for Governor Cuomo’s New NY Broadband Program, seeking a $9.1 million grant to provide Internet and phone services to 2000 under-served homes in the North Country. State data estimates 1.5 million North Country residents are under-served by any high speed Internet service. The Regional Economic Development Council released the companies awarded round 1 funding on August 3, 2016. Mohawk Networks was not selected, but remains optimistic about the second round of selections later this year.

“The vision is to bring connectivity to the North Country and stimulate economic development and job creation,” states the Tribe’s Director of Economic Development, Christopher Thompson.“North Country Broadband’s expansion follows the Tribe’s completion of a $15 million broadband project that laid sixty-eight miles of fiber and connected hundreds of Akwesasne residents to high speed internet. We’ve laid the infrastructure and now our youth who are entering the workforce and business community, have the ability to stay connected and compete on a global market.”

In one of the first off territory markets, the testing phase has brought connectivity and proof of concept to Lewis County.“We entered into a partnership with North Country Broadband to start a pilot program using their wireless technology, leveraging our new E911 towers. The first results are in and businesses and residences in Lewis County are seeing an amazing improvement,” expressed Chairman of the Board, Mike Tabolt. “We were disappointed that we didn’t get funded in the first round. It seems we were the exact target community that the Governor was looking to help. We hope that New York State is going to follow through on the commitment to serve rural and underserved communities like Lewis County in the next round. We have a plan, we have partners, we have a working prototype and we are ready to move.”

“Our resolve is even stronger now. Expanding our infrastructure to surrounding communities in the North Country will only strengthen resources for education, agriculture, healthcare and business development,” stated Chief Eric Thompson. “The grant would have enabled us to deploy our fiber to wireless connectivity at a much more rapid pace. Mohawk Networks has shifted focus to the second round of the application process. We’re proud of our team. They’ve worked hard to be competitive in this region and they will continue to connect new customers who’ve waited too long for high speed Internet service.”

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