Too small for broadband?

Even with the federal government pouring money into broadband internet infrastructure in rural areas, it's still hard for small towns to make sure they aren't forgotten. At the July 8 board meeting for the town of Jefferson, in Schoharie, the town's supervisor, Dan Singletary, begged the Middleburgh Telephone Company to include Jefferson in its application for broadband funds, according to the Mountain Eagle:

Singletary presented a letter to the telephone company's director, Jason Becker, in which he pleaded for the town of 1200 not to be left behind:

Singletary said he believes Becker indicated Jefferson’s population is too small for the service. The supervisor wrote a letter to Becker in response to this belief, fearing Jefferson will be the only Schoharie County community without Internet access. The letter states, Jefferson should be allowed to apply for the federal stimulus broadband grant along with the rest of Schoharie County.

Singletary said there is a need for Jefferson to have broadband in this “Internet economy.”

“It is incomprehensible that Jefferson may be the only town in Schoharie County without broadband service,” he stated. “If this happens, the town of Jefferson could not compete for business and residential growth and would have to survive by raising taxes each year to pay inflationary increases and state mandates,” he stated.

The broadband technology would help stimulate growth, business and the economy.

“Jefferson is a hill town in the Catskills, poorly served by cell,” Singletary wrote, and added, Verizon will not provide residents with Internet because the low population provides little incentive.