Yates County, community seek wider broadband service

At the last meeting of the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (Yates County’s IDA) Jeff Gasper, Manager of Broadband Sales and Sales Engineering for ECC Technologies Inc. of Penfield, made a presentation to introduce the Southern Tier Network (STN) to the IDA, explain the advantages of their fiber network for Yates County, and explore how the Yates IDA and STN can work together to “leverage” the STN network as an asset to bring new businesses into the county.

STN was established in 2011 as a not-for-profit public-private partnership, overseen by a Board of Directors to make Open Access Fiber available to business and civic users who need access to high-speed, high-volume internet connections. STN is a “Middle Mile Provider” who work with internet service providers (ISPs)‚ to connect the end users to their desired sources.

STN built 78-miles of fiber network in Yates County, completed in October 2016, into Branchport, Penn Yan, Dundee, and Dresden. Currently, they are working with carriers and ISPs like Empire Access, which co-built portions of the Yates County network, as well as FLTG/FirstLight, FiberTech/LighTower, RuralNet, Plexicomm, and Uniti Fiber.

The ongoing survey of interconnectivity in Yates County has to date reached only 52 percent of the responses desired for an adequate sample across all areas. That surevey continues into March. County officials say the survey is essential to provide accurate information to broadband businesses that might expand into the area.

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