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HELP NEEDED - BROADBAND INITIATIVE

Updated 4/30/23

Albany Township Residents,

The effort to bring high-speed internet (also known as broadband) to all of Albany Township continues to progress as Berks County is aggressively pursuing options through the Pennsylvania Broadband Initiative, state and federal grants, and current and new providers.

 

In Albany Township, the long-standing provider of broadband internet service is Blue Ridge Cable.  However, not all roads are wired for service.  There may be some state funding available soon to help pay for “line extensions,” which means where existing Blue Ridge Cable stops part way down a road, for example, a line extension would extend that cable to the end of the road (this is a very rough explanation but hopefully you get the point).  We want Albany Township to be prioritized for line extensions if this funding becomes available.

 

We are requesting responses from all residents by MAY 29 to help move toward broadband access for all in Albany Township.

 

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DO NOT HAVE ACCESS* TO BLUE RIDGE CABLE:  (* Access means that Blue Ridge cable internet passes by your home/business. You might choose not to “buy” the service from them, but you do have “access” to it.)

1.  Visit the Blue Ridge website (if you have internet access) at https://www.brctv.com/contact-us and complete the form with your Name and Address, and in the Comments say that you are interested in having access to broadband at your address.  Please list your address in the format of 1234 Name of Road, Albany Township, Berks County, PA.  That makes it really clear to them.

OR

2.  Call Blue Ridge Cable at 1-800-222-5377 and do the same.

 

These actions will REALLY help Blue Ridge if they apply for these state funds. They need to be able to quantify the need and we want to be heard and be on the top of their priority list!

 

Blue Ridge keeps a list of everyone who has requested internet service but currently does not have access (because your road is not wired).  At this time, the Board of Supervisors does not have a map that shows which roads (or parts of roads) have cable access and where there is no access.  While we hope that Blue Ridge will soon provide us with a map, we can’t count on that so we’d like to try to create our own.

 

FOR EVERYONE IN ALBANY TOWNSHIP:

 

You can help us understand the full scope of the need by sending an Email to albanybroadband@gmail.com with the following information:    (Please note that your name is not needed, and your email will not be shared with anyone. Only the physical address you provide will be recorded with the details of your internet access.)

1.  The physical address of your Albany Township home or business (or both).

2.  Is Blue Ridge cable internet available at that address? (if you have both a home and business at different addresses in the township, send info on both)

3.  If you have internet service at this address, who is your provider? (e.g., Blue Ridge, HughesNet, Verizon DSL, Starlink, a T-mobile or other cellular provider hot spot, etc.)

4.  What is the general way you and your family members use the internet at that address? (personal/leisure, education, work from home or run a business, or some combination of those general categories).

 

Note that there are other providers in Albany Township including various satellite providers, via cellular service if you have cell service at your home or business, Verizon DSL (not considered broadband/high-speed) and maybe a few others, but for this current opportunity for state funding, we are concerned with where Blue Ridge provides service.

 

Lastly, there is a short timeframe here. The program guidelines for provider will be released on Monday April 10 and then providers (like Blue Ridge) will decide if they can work with those guidelines and then start their applications so it’s imperative that Blue Ridge understands how urgent the need is here in Albany Township.  Please call or fill out the online form by May 29.

 

Thanks so much for your help!

 

Please spread the word and share this request with your friends, neighbors and relatives in Albany Township.  Again, thanks for your contribution to this ongoing project!

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