Thursday, October 23, 2014

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Elmira/Corning

Broadband Internet coming to rural parts of Southern Tier

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Broadband Internet coming to rural parts of Southern Tier
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While many of us have access to high speed Internet there are rural areas in the Southern Tier that do not have access to that technology. But as our Bill Mich tells us, one local agency has a project in place to change that.

CORNING, N.Y. -- The days of dial up may be coming to an end Southern Tier Central plans to build an optical fiber broadband network that will lay the foundation to provide high speed internet access to people in rural parts of the Southern Tier.

"All we are doing is really providing the pathway to allow those service providers more advanced access to those customers," said Joseph Starks, the President of ECC Technologies.

Internet providers like Time Warner Cable and Verizon will be able to access a new 235 mile optical fiber ring and provide broadband internet to new customers. The ring will stretch through Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben Counties and will be connected underground and across telephone poles. And internet providers are excited about reaching out to new customers.

"We whole heatedly support the Southern Tier Central Board's initiative and we are excited for the people in that community because we are all about making sure that everyone has access especially in rural areas where they traditionally haven't had access to technology such as broadband," said Stephanie Salanger, the Communications Manager for Time Warner Cable.

But it is about more than just new internet customers. This technology will allow doctors and medicine to come closer to patients who need help.

"They will be able to provide radiology services in areas that they can't provide it. So I think the health care will benefit because we will get the technology and the doctors closer to the people," Starks said.

And the broadband network has the potential to provide an economic boost to the area.

"We are hoping to attract businesses that need high speed bandwidth yet want to be in a more rural area. We are hoping that we get some high technologies that want to come here and appreciate the area and also bring jobs," said Marcia Weber, the Executive Director of Southern Tier Central.

The $12 million project is set to begin construction in June and will take about two and a half years to complete.

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