(HARTWICK, NY) OEConnect, a fiber broadband subsidiary owned and operated by Otsego Electric Cooperative, is working to expand service to rural areas in the Otsego County region. The cooperative, which also serves parts of Herkimer, Madison and Chenango Counties, is planning to install fiber optic internet to many more homes and businesses that are struggling to find reliable connections. “We need to help people go to school, work, and live where they want to live,” Tim Johnson, CEO of OEConnect said. The newest efforts are made possible by the Rural Development Opportunity Fund through the FCC which will provide $7.4 million to expand existing infrastructure further into unserved and underserved locations in Otsego, Herkimer and Madison County. “We are very excited to be able to bring this level of service to more of our neighbors,” Johnson said.
He adds, “Fast and reliable internet is just as important to rural residents as electricity was when Otsego Electric Cooperative and the other rural electric cooperatives in the nation brought service to these same hard-to-reach areas over 75 years ago.” This is welcome news for those who live, work and go to school in these areas, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.