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Youngsville Television continuing broadband efforts

Youngsville Television Corporation (YTC) continues efforts to bring broadband service to the most rural parts of the county.

YTC has been awarded two federal grants to build broadband within the region. It will be working with the Northwest Planning Commission, the administrator for the grants. A Power Grant has been approved and the first Engineer and Design Request for Proposal (RFP) has been created.

“In theory, the timeline for construction is to begin in May or June,” said Tom Mott, operations manager for YTC. “This bill will bring broadband to five fire halls — Garland, Spring Creek, Wrightsville, Chandlers Valley, and Spartansburg in Crawford County.”

YTC has also signed contracts with the USDA for projects in Cherry Grove that are set to begin construction midsummer. There will be another round of paperwork for these projects expected to be signed at the next board meeting.

“This has been a four-year endeavor and we’re finally getting some traction,” said Mott.

Mott, YTC board members, and Warren County commissioners recently made a trip to Green County to speak with their commissioners regarding the similar situations between the two counties.

“We went and spoke with them to see if there was anything we could do to offer support,” said Troy Clawson, YTC board member. “With Youngsville TV being a 501(c)12 cooperation, we can do projects like this that are not just within our borders.”

Green and Warren counties share a similar population, a very rural and hilly topography, as well as a cooperative of governments.

The immediate goal of laying broadband fibers with the fire halls as hub points is to bring wireless access to homes near the structures with the potential to expand.

“We’re trying to get to those people who have nothing right now,” said Mott. “This is more than just getting access to Google; this will be an economic stimulus.”

Bringing broadband to rural regions can help to increase real estate prices as well as attract people to the area.

“(The county commissioners) have their own incentives, but this still benefits the entire county,” said Tricia Durbin, county commissioner. “We have also put together a rural broadband initiative locally. We feel this is important.”

YTC is looking at creating other programs as well as partnerships, both private and public, as well as added funding.

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