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Cattaraugus County’s long push for high-speed Internet about to pay off

Published by Salamanca Press on May 20, 2019

By Rick Miller

LITTLE VALLEY — The long push for expanded broadband Internet service in rural areas of Cattaraugus County should pay off over the next year or so.

“It’s better than what I expected,” said Crystal Abers, director of the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism.

The entrance into the market of Armstrong Communications, Addison, N.Y., will result in thousands of miles of fiber optic cable being strung in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties.

In Cattaraugus County, the cable should start going up by this fall, Abers said. Crews have been out surveying the existing infrastructure roads that will be served to see where new utility poles will be needed.

“We get calls every week about high-speed Internet service,” Abers said in an interview in her Little Valley office on Friday. “We walk them through the Armstrong website” to see if they are in line for Internet service. If your street is on a pink area on the Armstrong map, you should be able to sign up for Internet.

Armstrong bid on scores of census tracts in the two Southern Tier counties. “I’m not surprised it’s taking longer than anticipated. It was an unrealistic time frame. They started in Allegany County and they are going west,” Abers said. “They are coming into the Portville area soon.”

Abers said Armstrong general manager Rick Beaver will attend a meeting of the County Legislature’s Development and Agriculture Committee in July.

New York auctioned off service areas by census tract, but the original time frame was not realistic

She said Armstrong is familiar with rural broadband and “should be a good fit” for the area.

Armstrong plans to offer Internet and telephone service, not cable television.

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