EBENSBURG, Pa. — Cambria joined other counties Thursday in agreeing to pay a $50,000 share of a broadband study that will examine the needs of a large region.
The six county study would determine what it would take to build an extensive fiber optic “ring” from Cambria to Fulton County.
Alleghenies Broadband Inc. — a nonprofit organization formed by Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntington and Somerset counties to continue efforts to improve broadband service — will solicit bids for the study.
“We’re basically paying for the part of the study that’s equally divided by the six counties, and then whatever we would do based on that would come out of Cambria County and go towards building broadband for Cambria County,” said Commissioner Scott Hunt. .
Commissioner William “BJ” Smith said he received emails from a company interested in installing fiber optics in the county and asked if they could be responsible for the cost.
Chairman-Commissioner Tom Chernisky and Emergency Management Coordinator Art Martynuska, who sits on the board of Alleghenies Broadband Inc., said involving a company to install fiber would come after establishing a plan.
“It’s about doing the study showing how the network would be built,” Martynuska said. “After that, it’ll be based on people coming to Southern Alleghenies or to (Alleghenies Broadband Inc) … and saying, ‘Listen, we’re going to follow your design and we’re going to put the skin in the game to build it.’ “
Katie Smolen is a reporter for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @KSmolen1230.