Company helps wire Pennsylvania

As part of a public/private partnership, a Pennsylvania company is wiring

a rural, mid-state corridor with state-of-the-art telecommunications equipment.

The project is the first for the KeyNet Alliance, a 16-company consortium

led by Pennsylvania-based Adelphia Business Solutions.

When ABS beat out Verizon Communications three years ago to win Pennsylvania's

$228 million Keystone Communications program to wire the state government,

the company offered to wire needy parts of the state as well — $10 million

in work to be matched by state and federal money.

Through the KeyNet Alliance, ABS aims to link sites such as libraries

and schools to the high-powered lines the company is installing for the

state.

"To compete in today's society, these communities need the connectivity

power that this communications project will deliver," said Scott Elliott,

a spokesman with the Governor's Office of Administration. "ABS showed us

that they really cared about the commonwealth by presenting an idea that

links our schools, libraries and rural communities to what will be a state-of-the-art

communications network."

The first project involves putting $810,000 worth of fiber lines and

network equipment along the state's I-99 corridor between State College

and Altoona. State officials hope the high-speed lines will attract jobs

through several industrial parks that will benefit from the upgrade.

"The future projects are going to be geared toward areas that we see

as underserved in the way of telecommunications readiness," said Mel Collins,

staff director for the KeyNet Alliance and director of government and educational

markets for ABS. "Small businesses, rural areas, school districts — these

are the entities we are hoping will come to us and express their interest

in the program and areas that we'd like to see benefit around the state."

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