The Town of Tyre, which hosts the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and the del Lago Casino and Resort, remains an agricultural community whose residents prefer its very rural lifestyle. However, there are some serious drawbacks of having the Town’s less than 1000 residents scattered across 33 square miles, such as lack of quality Internet access. No traditional Internet Service Provider (ISP) has shown interest in serving the Town, apart from satellite or cellular service, which has severe cost or data limitations.
Tyre officials have made fast Internet service (also call broadband) a priority for all residents. In consultation with ECC Technologies, Inc. of Penfield, NY, the Town is seeking to determine how best to deliver broadband to residents at a reasonable cost. All options are being considered, including a possible initiative for the Town to build a fiber optic ring to reach all homes and businesses.
“The Town of Tyre has taken a very innovative step to secure broadband across a low population density. The residents and businesses of Tyre need and deserve the same level of broadband service as people in large communities where their broadband service is fast and relatively inexpensive,” stated Andy Lukasiewicz, Director of Broadband Services at ECC Technologies. He went on to say, “The key to achieving the goal of broadband in Tyre will likely rely upon a public-private partnership where the Town and an ISP share the cost of bringing broadband to the Town.”
Planning Board Chairman Robert Seem stated that “A general survey of Town residents in 2009 identified broadband access as a priority for many citizens, but now in 2017 it is an imperative. Broadband access has almost become a utility,” he continued. “It’s nearing the same level of importance as electricity once held for rural communities, and is in many ways the new ‘interstate’ for commerce.”
A new survey of residents and businesses to help determine their level of need, how they presently access the Internet and willingness to pay for a potential service was mailed to Town residents on April 10 and the Town requests a speedy return of the survey so results can be incorporated into grant proposals for state grants that would partially support broadband for Tyre.
The survey form can also be accessed and completed online at the Town’s website, www.tyreny.com.