It’s been more than three years since construction began on the dark fiber network in Yates County that brings high-speed broadband service to the county and connects the southern tier with Ontario County and north.
The intention behind construction of the network was to bring more competition to Verizon and Time Warner (now Spectrum), according to Steve Manning, CEO of Southern Tier Network, the non-profit municipal cooperative that manages the network.
Yates County has invested about $600,000 in the project, but the network is not benefitting most residents, and many are frustrated by the lack of progress toward connectivity in the rural areas. It’s a situation that perplexes rural residents all around the U.S., and the federal and state governments don’t seem able to provide accurate details about coverage in rural areas.
While the Federal Communications Commission says 24.7 million Americans don’t have access to broadband, researchers at Microsoft say nearly 163 million people do not use the internet at broadband speeds, according to a Dec. 21 New York Times Report.