Commissioners advance plan to expand internet access across York County

York County has advanced a contract that would bridge the so-called “middle mile” of broadband Internet access.

The middle mile is the infrastructure that transports large amounts of data between regional hubs and individual customers in both urban and rural settings.

On Wednesday night, the Board of Commissioners unanimously voted on two contracts with Alabama-based company Lit Communities for broadband services in the county.

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The two contracts – which have yet to be negotiated but are not expected to exceed $20 million – will expand infrastructure in areas of the New Freedom, Railroad, Glen Rock and Seven Valleys boroughs as well as additional fiber optic lines elsewhere. in the county.

“I think it’s great for the county to have the ability to share a revenue-sharing model,” said Chairperson-Commissioner Julie Wheeler.

Silas Chamberlain, a member of the YoCo fiber task force that advised York County on its broadband strategy, told the board that Lit Communities would build the last mile network at no cost to the county and compensate the county for access to the county center. -thousand network.

“It’s a repeatable model,” he said. “It’s something we can do over and over again across the county with ISPs.”

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Overall, the project would significantly expand Internet access in southern York County.

“It’s the most underserved part of the county,” Chamberlain said. “There are parts of Ring 4 and Ring 5 and even part of Ring 6 where up to 70% of households currently do not have broadband access because there is simply no of fiber infrastructure in these areas.”

The county previously worked with Lit Communities to install 16 miles of fiber optic cable on the Heritage Rail Trail, enabling wi-fi access.

In addition to the broadband decision, commissioners also approved a $38,452.40 grant from the State Department to improve election administration.

Each county in Pennsylvania receives a grant, according to State Department spokesman Mark Walters. The total amount of grants awarded was $1.1 million.

– Contact Matt Enright via email at [email protected] or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.

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