[Originally published in the Altoona Mirror, September 18th, 2021] BEDFORD — Bedford County was awarded $745,588 by the Appalachian Regional Commission to expand and improve broadband infrastructure in unserved areas.
The money is part of a nearly $46.4 million package supporting 57 projects across 184 coal-impacted counties through ARC’s Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization initiative.
POWER targets federal resources to communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operation, and coal-related supply chain industries.
“The terrain in portions of Bedford County make it difficult to expand broadband infrastructure to some communities. Through collaboration with Bedford County and local internet service providers, we were able to develop a cost-effective strategy to reach the residents and businesses located in these hard-to-reach areas” said Brandon Carson, executive director at Alleghenies Broadband Inc.
The project, Connecting the Alleghenies Through Core Broadband Infrastructure, includes the construction of four new telecommunication towers that will be utilized to support high-speed internet service to approximately 400 households and 20 businesses located in eight communities in the southeastern portion of Bedford County, as well as parts of Fulton County, Pa., and Allegany County, Md.
In addition, the constructed infrastructure will also be capable of supporting the expansion of cellular phone services throughout the project area.