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Senator Schumer Promotes Western NY Fiber Project: “Fiber Optic Broadband is the Erie Canal of the 21st Century”

Phillip Dampier April 5, 2010 Broadband Speed, Competition, Public Policy & Gov't, Rural Broadband, Video No Comments

Ontario County, New York

Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) visited Canandaigua Monday to promote Ontario County’s fiber optic broadband project, in hopes of securing federal funding to expand the fiber project into adjacent counties in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region.

Schumer likened fiber optic broadband development to other revolutionary transportation projects in New York’s past which transformed local economies, created jobs, and brought prestige to the region.

“One fact has proven true since the days of the Erie Canal: if you don’t have good infrastructure, you’re not gonna bring jobs, but when you do have good infrastructure, you are gonna bring jobs. And the fiber optic ring that we are talking about here in Ontario County is the Erie Canal of the 21st century. It’s that simple,” Schumer told an audience at the Center for Infotonics.

Ontario County began constructing a fiber ring more than a decade ago to improve connectivity across the often-rural county.  Bookmarked between high growth areas around Victor and Canandaigua to the east and Geneva to the west, large expanses of Ontario County are rural. Being a part of central New York’s Finger Lakes Region means the often hilly terrain and winding roads can make wiring expensive and difficult in certain areas.  But the prospect for 21st century connectivity has helped fuel growth — and jobs — into the region.

Sen. Schumer

Schumer wants FCC officials to visit Ontario County to explore the project as a potential blueprint for wiring other counties.

“We will not only put this region at the cutting edge of attracting new businesses that need high speed fiber optics, but we’ll do a service to the rest of the country by showing them how it can work,” said Schumer.

New York’s senior senator said he will aggressively pursue millions in federal funding to expand the project outside of Ontario County, and help complete the fiber optic network.

The senator may find some opposition to federal funding initiatives from incumbent providers Frontier Communications and Time Warner Cable, particularly if funds originate from broadband stimulus programs.  Both companies would likely object to federal spending on a fiber network that crosses areas both companies already serve.

Frontier Communications offers DSL service in many parts of Ontario County, and Time Warner Cable has wired most of the significant-sized towns and cities in the county.

The Ontario County project has been built without any federal stimulus money.

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/Ontario County Fiber Schumer Visit 4-5-10.flv

Sen. Schumer’s visit to Canandaigua, New York to promote Ontario County’s fiber project was covered in these three reports from YNN, WROC-TV, and WHAM-TV — all in Rochester, New York.  (6 minutes)

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  • Ernesto Honez: Was that a confirmed and signed "contract"? Was it verbal? Was it sent out in a letter as bulk mailing, or with a first class stamp? Was it's delivery...
  • Matt: I just got off the phone with AT&T. I called saying that I found a promotion through Time Warner for $34.99 for 15 mbps and I am trying to cut dow...
  • Phillip Dampier: It first went to a handful of test markets in upstate New York (not Rochester) and then has been redesignated as a feature enhancement in Maxx markets...
  • Steve Rea: Any idea when the new DVR is coming to Rochester? I remember a story you posed over 2 years ago from the CEO of TWC at the time! saying it was comi...
  • AustinTX: James, my suggestion would be to switch to TWC rental modems, and fry 2-3 of them over the course of several weeks by running 24v AC into the coax con...
  • Dragos: For 1Gbps in Romania we pay around 12 EUR (VAT included - 24%). http://www.rcs-rds.ro/internet-digi-net/fiberlink?t=internet-fix&pachet=digi_ne...
  • James R Curry: Hey, Phillip - While not related to Comcast directly -- I rent my modem from TWC, and while I'd rather buy one outright, there's one big factor ...
  • Sean: I believe that there are issues intermixing DOSCIS 2/3 modems on a node. It's been about 5 years since I've worked with a CMTS so I am by no means an...
  • AustinTX: Yep, this isn't about "your old modem isn't capable of the wonderful new speeds we're providing to your service tier", it's about "we know your custom...
  • MJ Lee: This is strange. I did get a letter from Time Warner saying my apartment was qualified for Time Warner Cable Maxx, but when I applied for it, I got an...
  • Tim: You know this is overstating the case ... unlimited data adsl2 plans are available from $60 in Australia. Average price is about $90...
  • Phillip Dampier: I think 10/Gbps is available in the USA as well, on an obscenely expensive metro Ethernet or commercial fiber link provisioned by a telecom company. ...

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