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Washington County launched its broadband initiative in January by partnering with Hickory Telephone for a pilot program to provide high-speed internet to 50 homes and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village. With that success, the county branched out with more projects over the summer, focusing on several towns along Route 40 while working with DQE Communications, which recently completed the work and is now reaching out to potential customers to sign up for the service.
“The backbone is complete,” said Joe McGuinness, director of sales for DQE. “This is a partnership, and it has been so since the beginning.”
With the early stages complete, the county is now embarking on its most ambitious phase with a multi-year plan to bring broadband to up to 6,500 underserved customers in 10 areas. The county put out requests for proposals Tuesday with a deadline for vendors to respond by Jan. 29. Once that’s complete, the county is expected to review proposals and the authority will make recommendations in the spring for the county commissioners to choose what projects to pursue.