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Washington County, NY Considers Spending $40,000 On Broadband Study – Rural Broadband Revisited

Phillip Dampier September 17, 2009 Public Policy & Gov't, Rural Broadband 1 Comment
Washington County, New York

Washington County, New York

Washington County, one of New York’s many rural counties, sits on the eastern border of the state adjacent to Vermont.  Its 62,000 citizens have access to dial-up, some areas have been wired by Time Warner Cable, and some others have access to Verizon DSL service.  But vast swaths of the county have no choice for broadband at all.  The Washington County Board of Supervisors wants to do something about that and will vote this week on a proposal to spend $40,000 to study how Washington, in cooperation with Warren and Hamilton counties, could benefit from a wireless broadband network being proposed by Plattsburgh (N.Y.)-based CBN Connect.

CBN Connect is a non profit corporation that constructs broadband platforms and networks it resells to commercial providers who will not construct such networks themselves.  CBN Connect’s website states “providers like Time Warner (Cable), Primelink, Westelcom, and others [can use their networks] to reach new customers.”

CBN Connect has plans to develop both fiber optic and wireless networks across New York’s “North Country” in eastern upstate areas.

No details about the type of wireless network under consideration were available.

Readers of The Post Star, which serves the county, had some problems with the country spending $40,000 of taxpayer dollars on the study:

“We are actually thinking of spending $40,000 to fund a private company’s “study?” If CBN wants to sell their services, which I am guessing they will profit on, let them fund whether it is feasable or not. This money can be better spent in other areas of the county, or better yet, don’t spend it at all.” — Whall01

“If there’s a demand (home or business) then the providers (Time Warner Cable, Verizon, CBN Connect) will do their own study (and fund it) to see if it makes sense to them. If they don’t, then they won’t be in business long. Washington county supervisors need to figure out how to cut expenses and overhead, not add to them.” — HFRES

“What a waste — $40,000 for a study to bring broadband to the community? FiOS is the technology that we should be looking into.  Why are our counties always a day late and a dollar short of keeping up with the rest of the world? These counties should be joining together to get Verizon here and bring us FiOS.” — Enoughalready

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. Douglas Brown says:

    What about PowerBlink (Broadband over the power lines, or BPL from New Visions)? They are currently using this in the saracuse area with great results. The main infastructure is already in place(the power lines)! No need to run fiber, or cable. And at 20Mbps down, and 7Mbps up (synchronous) with phone for about $66/mo., it sounds like a no brainer! It’s already been tested, and in place and working. No need to spend $40,000 of our tax dollars on a study, when there is something out there that appears to already work. And, they are coming out with TV over this same power line infastructure, with 200 TV channels, and more as they are developed. Maybe our county is being paid off by cable, or the telephone company, not to allow this to happen. They (power blink) were supposed to come in Jan. 2010. Then I got an email from New Visions today, 11/5/09, saying that the county wants to take an alternate route. Sounds political to me. If anybody has satelitte for internet, you know how bad it is. Wireless is not the way to go either. Chances are they too will have a fair access policy, limiting you on how much you can download per month. What a joke that is. At $49.95/mo for up to 512k/sec from Wild Blue, makes me sick, but its slightly quicker than dial-up. 1Mbps is 59.99/mo. Compare that to power blink. If you just want PowerBlink’s sst upgrade internet, without phone, at 20Mbps down and 7Mbps up, it just $38.90/mo. 10Mbps down 5Mbps up for $28.95/mo. How hard is that to swallow? I think they should take that $40,000 and help to get the backbone of this service in place in washington county, since the wire is already there!

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