Erie County Forms Committee to Help Spread Broadband Access

Small cells, macro cells and 5G technology. These were just some of the solutions bandied about during the Erie County broadband committee’s most recent meeting to address how the county can spread broadband access to more citizens in the area, reports the Ken-Ton Bee.

The New York State Broadband Office recently set a goal to provide 100 megabit broadband service to 97 percent of the state population by 2018. Currently, there is only one provider in Erie County who offers that type of speed—Verizon Fios.

Deployment of that service has stalled, however, because it requires fiber-optic infrastructure, something Verizon has not recently invested in. 

“The gaps that we are seeing are because Verizon Fios rollout has stalled,” Matt Crider of ECC Technologies said during the committee’s meeting in December. “They have no plans of expanding the Fios coverage area.”

Rochester-based ECC Technologies conducted a feasibility study commissioned by the county to research broadband deployment across the county. Crider, who discussed the study during the December meeting, said he hopes Charter Spectrum’s announcement that it will roll out 100 megabit service in 2017, will spur Verizon to expand its Fios service.

Crider said that he hopes to expand the committee to include other partners, including others within the municipality, the New York state Department of Transportation and the University of Buffalo.  

February 9, 2017

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