Union County Commissioners approved Service Electric as the internet service provider (ISP) as part of a four-county project shepherded by SEDA-COG.

The commissioners voted 3-0 to choose the local telecommunications firm. Service Electric is specifically servicing Union County. The ISPs for Northumberland, Lycoming and Clinton counties weren’t named in Tuesday’s meeting.

The project totals $8 million across all four counties. For Union County, it will bring broadband service to 154 households and up to 7 businesses in the Mazeppa area, according to Scott Kramer, principal IT specialist with SEDA-COG.

Across all four counties, the project was previously estimated to bring service to 28 businesses and 1,400 households. The project area in Northumberland County area spans from Leck Kill to Route 125, Kramer said.

Project areas in Northumberland and Union counties shifted on the discovery of previously unidentified broadband service areas.

The Appalachian Regional Commission approved a $2.5 million grant for the project. Another $1 million comes from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program in addition to a $4 million revolving loan from SEDA-COG.

The upload/download speed for businesses would be 100 mbps, with at least 50/10 mbps anticipated for residential service, Kramer said.

Most, not all, of the ISPs that bid on the project proposed fiberoptic installation with at least one proposing wireless coverage. Project completion could push into early 2023, he said, but the hope is it would come sooner than that.

Four ISPs proposed projects in Union County and three in Northumberland County, with roughly the same amount of proposals in the other two counties.

Union County is the last of the four counties to approve an ISP. Kramer withheld the names of the firms, including Union County’s provider, pending formal notification to the companies by SEDA-COG. The commissioners identified Service Electric in their motion for approval.

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