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Benefits to expanding internet

It can be hard to justify investments in broadband internet, as Warren County is currently doing in Grand Valley with part of the $450,000 in CARES Act money the county has set aside for broadband expansion.

Obviously, it helps school students who now find themselves using the internet more and more often for school work. Often times broadband is said to help businesses, but it can be hard to put one’s finger on what exactly that means. A story from our sister paper in Jamestown is one example of how broadband can unlock new markets for local businesses.

DFT Communications recently completed a fiber cable installation project that is providing high-speed internet access to more than a dozen businesses in and around the Stoneman Industrial Park in the town of Busti, just across the state line in New York. That fiber-optic service has helped Classic Brass, one of the industrial park’s tenants, see record business even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The broadband has really helped us in that we have dealers all over the USA. We’re sending files, drawing, prints and other things and I was just talking to my one guy and it’s lightning,” said Christopher Creighton, Classic Brass founder. “It makes all the difference in the world. There’s not the time for it otherwise and certainly time is money.”

There are benefits to be had with broadband internet expansion in Warren County that can benefit county residents long after COVID-19 is nothing more than an unpleasant memory. State and federal officials need to work with the county on a plan to extend broadband into harder-to-reach areas. Surely there are rural residents and businesses who can benefit from broadband who won’t receive the service they need anytime soon.

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