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News of Otsego County

Broadband

Big Guys Keep Little Guys From Thriving, Delgado Says

Big Guys Keep Little Guys

From Thriving, Delgado Says

By JENNIFER HILL  • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Congressman Delgado

ONEONTA – Coming off a week of “Town Halls,” with students, small-business owners and farmers,  U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado,  D-19, said in a teleconference press briefing this morning that while there were “critically important” national issues, most people in his district want to know “how do we improve the area.”

In discussing how to improve the area, Delgado often framed his responses in big corporations/industry/Washington insiders versus the little guy: i.e., his constituents. He cited a poll published yesterday in the Washington Post that found 60 percent of Americans feel that way.

Broadband Breakthrough Due For Otsego Electric Customers

Broadband Breakthrough

Due For Otsego

Electric Customers

By PATRICK WAGER


HARTWICK – Finally, more broadband is coming to Otsego County.
This March, Otsego Electric Cooperative’s plans to bring the high-powered Internet to most of the western part of the county will begin with fiber broadband access in Laurens.
“Be patient, we’re coming,” said Tim Johnson, CEO, Otsego Electric Cooperative. “We’re making rapid progress and we’ll get there.”
Separately, by fall the Otsego Now hopes to launch its downtown Cooperstown WiFi Hotspot project through MIDTEL, Middleburgh Telephone Co.

At Hearing, Delgado Urges Rural Broadband Expansion

At Hearing, Delgado Urges

Rural Broadband Expansion

WASHINGTON At today’s Small Business Committee hearing on under-served businesses, U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19th, said rural broadband needs to be expanded so businesses can prosper in Upstate New York.

“In parts of my district, I drive by large signs that read, ‘broadband coming soon.’ It’s a sight that is hard to imagine in New York, in the USA, in the 21st Century,” Delgado stated.

Andela, Red Shed Show Entrepreneurial Mettle

Editorial for January 18, 2019

Andela, Red Shed Show

Entrepreneurial Mettle

In Governor Cuomo’s Dec. 18 CFA announcements, Otsego County entrepreneurs did just fine.

You may have noticed that Dec. 15 piece in the New York Times, “The Hard Truths of Trying to Save the ‘Rural’ Economy.” In it, reporter Eduardo Porter wrote: “I’ve lived most of my life in big cities. I don’t pretend to understand what it’s like to live in a small town or a family farm, or how it feels when all the jobs in a community seem to be fading away.”
You might expect what follows: It sounds like one of those stories Times reporters periodically transmit from Timbuctoo or some similarly exotic locale. All impressions. As if rural economic development – the War on Poverty, if you will – is all about feelings.
Here’s a more concrete objection: Porter equates Upstate New York – criss-crossed by four lanes, peppered with international airports, abounding with excellent colleges and universities, a couple of hours from the largest metropolitan economy in the country that also happens to be the center of the financial universe – with Harrison, Neb., wherever that is.

BRINGING BROADBAND HERE

Bringing Broadband Here

Edition of Thursday-Friday, Dec. 11-12, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is the cover letter from FARR Technologies CEO/Partner Peter Rasmusson to the county Industrial Development Agency, an overview of the proposed $30 million public/private plan to bring high-speed Internet to the whole of the county.

Broadband access is arguably one of the most important aspects of any thriving community today. With broadband access, our educational system, our economic-development efforts, our healthcare and our business climate are all enhanced. Just look at how well the businesses who are getting fast Fiber internet in Dallas texas are doing! Faster internet leads to more productivity and profit for local businesses.

The study shows that legacy telecommunications companies have, for decades, dramatically underinvested in their networks serving vast portions of Otsego County. The impacts of this underinvestment include difficulty in attracting, retaining and growing businesses; inability of educational institutions to use 21st century tools to expand learning opportunities for their students; and residential services that are expensive and exceptionally slow. However, areas with high speed options for internet connection are much better-equipped for development. Not only that, but this faster, better internet can benefit all of the residents living in the area.

Fortunately, the County of Otsego IDA (COIDA) has a solid opportunity to help drive reinvestment in the telecommunications network to provide a new infrastructure for broadband that will serve the County for decades to come and reverse these impacts.

Using a Public Private Partnership (PPP) structure with local partners will allow COIDA to lead the effort to facilitate the applications for federal and state grants and low-interest loans to fund the construction of – and create a business structure to operate – a state of the art network in Otsego County.

A primary distinction between this feasibility study and previous studies is the focus on building a network to provide service to end users, both residents and businesses. This distinction is critical to the financial viability of the network and maximizes use of the strengths that each of the local potential partners brings to the partnership.

From a technical perspective, the study recommends building a $30 million hybrid network consisting of a fixed wireless network, serving nearly 10,800 locations, connected to a 330-mile fiber optic backbone network made up of fiber optic cables, like those available on vchung.com. The fiber optic backbone network will also be constructed to serve approximately 9,000 “Fiber to the Premise” (FTTx) locations. The fiber network will pass through 13 village centers, which will enable the project to offer Main Street businesses and community centers access to high-speed fiber connections.

The total number of unserved and underserved locations capable of receiving high-speed data and voice service at a minimum speed of 10 MB down and 1 MB up (10/1 service) is approximately 84 percent of the total unserved/underserved locations in Otsego County, and approximately 90 percent of the entirety of Otsego County.

To upgrade locations without 10/1 service, a combination of larger antenna, range extenders, micro cells, new tower sites and additional FTTx construction can be used as determined by the PPP.

The project is broken into three one-year construction phases based on the three fiber ring layout of the network.

Financially, the business plan displays profitable operations, and positive cash flow throughout the six-year projection period (years 0-5). Financial ratio benchmarks typically required by lending institutions have been met or exceeded.

Broadband Plan Set: IDA May Let Contract With Telecom Firm

Broadband Plan Set: IDA May Let

Contract With Telecom Firm

By JIM KEVLIN • HOMETOWN ONEONTA/The Freeman’s Journal

Edition of Thursday-Friday, Dec. 4-5, 2014

The future in Otsego County is not now. But it could be now in the next 2-3 years.

The IDA-commissioned Broadband Feasibility Study has found a $30 million public-private high-speed system can happen in Otsego County, and the agency is prepared to contract with a “telecom” to implement it as soon at the IDA’s Thursday, Dec. 4, monthly meeting in Oneonta.

The feasibility study’s findings were outlined Tuesday, Dec. 2, by Peter Rasmusson, CEO/Partner of FARR Techologies, based in Sioux City, Iowa, who said the company has conducted similar studies that resulted in successful projects in the upper Midwest, as well as projects in New York State and the West Coast.

Later that afternoon, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, announced he has obtained a $250,000 grant as “seed money” to get the initiative through its first steps. He called high-speed broadband “required technology for emergency services, economic development and everyday life,” whose lack has hindered the county’s progress.

FARR’s researchers, Rassmusson related, found decades-long “dramatic underinvestment” in broadband locally by “incumbent carriers.”

To overcome this, he outlined a $30.3 million network that would use fiber to connect 13 “community centers” and a wireless service to extend into the county’s most rural areas. The network will require 25 towers in all – about a dozen now exist – plus 210 miles of additional fiber in addition to 120 miles that exists and can be leased.

The “initial network,” when complete, would provide broadband to 19,800 locations, or 84 percent of the county. The “build out” – employing larger antennas and other apparati – would eventually reach the remaining unserved 16 percent.

It would be a “10 megabit down, one megabit up” system, the next generation of service being considered by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). The standard now is “four down, one up,” Rassmusson said.
The FARR study outlines a “three-ring” workscope. Construction of the first phase, covering the southwest half of the county – Oneonta and Cooperstown included – should begin by 2016, but might get started late next year.

The second “ring” or phase would bring the eastern part of the county, roughly from Schenevus-Worcester to Cherry Valley, onto the system the following year. The third and final phase would include the Richfield Springs and Edmeston areas.

The public-private partnership to make this happen would include four components: The County of Otsego; the Otsego Electric Cooperative, which is eager to bring its maintenance and construction crews to the table; the IDA, with its PILOTs and access to low-cost financing, and, finally, a telecom, a privately run company already in the business.

At the briefing for local officials and the press on the fifth floor of 189 Main, Sandy Mathes, IDA president, said an RFQ – request for quotations – has been circulated, and discussions are to the point that the IDA it ready to act on that piece.
Rasmusson said the plan – it may be viewed at www.allotsego.com – is structured to ensure the financial viability of the undertaking. The three-phase roll out helps ensure this, bringing ratepayers aboard more quickly.

Mathes said grants may be available through Connect NY as soon as February, and the U.S. Farm Bill and USDA programs are seeking to extend broadband to rural area. The FARR study, however, was required before applications could be submitted; and now it is in hand.

Broadband Plan Readied

Broadband Plan Readied

IDA To Let Contract With Telecom Firm

Editor’s Note:  This article appeared in the Dec. 4-5, 2014 editions of The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta.

By JIM KEVLIN • allotsego.com

The future in Otsego County is not now.  But it could be now in the next 2-3 years.

The IDA-commissioned Broadband Feasibility Study has found a $30 million public-private high-speed system can happen in Otsego County, and the agency is prepared to contract with a “telecom” to implement it as soon at the IDA’s Thursday, Dec. 4, monthly meeting in Oneonta.

The feasibility study’s findings were outlined Tuesday, Dec. 2, by Peter Rasmusson, CEO/Partner of FARR Techologies, based in Sioux City, Iowa, who said the company has conducted similar studies that resulted in successful projects in the upper Midwest, as well as projects in New York State and the West Coast.

Later that afternoon, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, announced he has obtained a $250,000 grant as “seed money” to get the initiative through its first steps.  He called high-speed broadband “required technology for emergency services, economic development and everyday life,” whose lack has hindered the county’s progress.

FARR’s researchers, Rasmusson related, found decades-long “dramatic underinvestment” in broadband locally by “incumbent carriers.”

To overcome this, he outlined a $30.3 million network that would use fiber to connect 13 “community centers” and a wireless service to extend into the county’s most rural areas.  The network will require 25 towers in all – about a dozen now exist – plus 210 miles of additional fiber in addition to 120 miles that exists and can be leased.

The “initial network,” when complete, would provide broadband to 19,800 locations, or 84 percent of the county.  The “build out” – employing larger antennas and other apparati – would eventually reach the remaining unserved 16 percent.

It would be a “10 megabit down, one megabit up” system, the next generation of service being considered by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).  The standard now is “four down, one up,” Rassmusson said.

The FARR study outlines a “three-ring” workscope.  Construction of the first phase, covering the southwest half of the county – Oneonta and Cooperstown included – should begin by 2016, but might get started late next year.

The second “ring” or phase would bring the eastern part of the county, roughly from Schenevus-Worcester to Cherry Valley, onto the system the following year.  The third and final phase would include the Richfield Springs and Edmeston areas.

The public-private partnership to make this happen would include four components:  The County of Otsego; the Otsego Electric Cooperative, which is eager to bring its maintenance and construction crews to the table; the IDA, with its PILOTs and access to low-cost financing, and, finally, a telecom, a privately run company already in the business.

At the briefing for local officials and the press on the fifth floor of 189 Main, Sandy Mathes, IDA president, said an RFQ – request for quotations – has been circulated, and discussions are to the point that the IDA it ready to act on that piece.

Rasmusson said the plan – it may be viewed at www.allotsego.com – is structured to ensure the financial viability of the undertaking.  The three-phase roll out helps ensure this, bringing ratepayers aboard more quickly.

Mathes said grants may be available through Connect NY as soon as February, and the U.S. Farm Bill and USDA programs are seeking to extend broadband to rural area.  The FARR study, however, was required before applications could be submitted; and now it is in hand.

 

 

 

 

 

IDA Names Middleburgh Telephone As ‘Telecom’ In Broadband Initiative

IDA Names Middleburgh Telephone

As ‘Telecom’ In Broadband Initiative

County Rep. Ed Lentz, D-New Lisbon, right, and IDA President Sandy Mathes participate in Tuesday's PowerPoint/conference call where FARR Technologies partner Pater Rasmusson outline a detailed $30 million plan to extend high-speed Internet service throughout Otsego County.  (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
County Rep. Ed Lentz, D-New Lisbon, right, and IDA President Sandy Mathes participate in Tuesday’s PowerPoint/conference call where FARR Technologies partner Pater Rasmusson outlined a detailed $30 million plan to extend high-speed Internet service throughout Otsego County.  Senator Seward’s aide Jeff Bishop and local media also participated.   (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • allotsego.com

ONEONTA – The IDA board this morning named Middleburgh Telephone as the private entity in a four-part partnership that will seek to implement a $30 million program to provide broadband Internet service throughout Otsego County.

“Their credentials, their experience, the breadth of the company is a testimony to the organization,” said IDA President Sandy Mathis. Middleburgh Telephone is part of the Independent Network Operations Consortium, which has been providing Internet service, increasingly broadband, since 2001.

The three other prospective partners are the County of Otsego, the pass-through entity for the necessary grants; the IDA itself, the source of PILOTs and low-cost financing, and the Hartwick-based Otsego Electric Cooperative, which would bring its construction and maintenance crews into the mix.

Mathes said the next step is to begin talks to bring the four entities into the single partnership. With a study by FARR Communications detailed earlier this week, the partnership can then begin seeking grants.

BROADBAND FEASIBILITY STUDY – POWERPOINT

BROADBAND FEASIBILITY STUDY – COVER LETTER

BROADBAND FEASIBILITY STUDY – MAIN DOCUMENT

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