Broadening the band

By LIAM MAYO
Posted 7/14/21

MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County is getting into the broadband business, and it wants local residents to know.

At the most recent meeting of the Sullivan County Broadband Local Development …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Broadening the band

Posted

MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County is getting into the broadband business, and it wants local residents to know.

At the most recent meeting of the Sullivan County Broadband Local Development Corporation (LDC), the government-backed organization in charge of bringing broadband access to Sullivan County, the board discussed grant applications, technical details and bureaucratic red tape.

It also discussed the obvious interest county residents have shown in the LDC’s project and in the progress it’s making.

Heather Brown, the county’s sustainability coordinator and its administrative liaison with the LDC, said that she’d been fielding calls from Sullivan County residents asking about broadband access in the county. Other members of the board described interest from organizations like the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) and the county legislature, saying that there was a lot of excitement from within those organizations about the work that the LDC was doing.

What is the timeline for county-wide broadband?

At a presentation regarding the process given to the UDC, the county’s chief information officer Lorne Green described the project as a three-to-five-year endeavor. By the end of that timeline, over 95 percent of the county should be covered.

But residents won’t have to wait until the project is completed to start signing up.

The broadband system will be built using the county’s currently existing public safety towers, Brown said in a statement to the River Reporter. Broadband will be broadcast from those towers to receivers installed at the houses of subscribers.

The towers do not rely on one another to function. As soon as the proper equipment gets installed and tested in any one tower, the LDC can start selling subscriptions to residents within that tower’s area of coverage.

The LDC is currently working to install the first round of equipment in the Monticello radio tower. If the necessary testing goes according to schedule, the tower should be fully functional by the end of August, at which point Monticello residents within the tower’s area of coverage could begin to purchase service.

Who will be providing this service?

This project is an entirely new endeavor, without connection to any of the broadband service providers currently present in Sullivan County. The county established the Sullivan County Broadband LDC to explore alternatives to those providers, aiming to provide better service to more of the county.

Once the service is up and running, the county will own and maintain all of the equipment used by the broadband network, just as it already owns and maintains the towers on which the network is built.

The Broadband LDC, meanwhile, is responsible for the customer-facing side of the network, marketing the county’s broadband services and managing subscriptions.

At the moment, there exists an especially close connection between the county and the LDC. The county has pledged financial and administrative support to the LDC for its first three years of existence. 

But ultimately, the LDC exists as its own separate entity, apart from the standard bureaucracy of the county. Once it is up and running and has achieved financial independence, the aid that it received will be paid back.

How can I get more information about county broadband services?

The Broadband LDC has a page on the Sullivan County website, at www.sullivanny.us/Departments/Broadband, with general information about the corporation and its aims.

The LDC also plans to begin marketing broadband services once the project is further along; while plans are in their early stages, residents in an area will be informed once broadband services are available, one way or another.

In the meantime, the county has set up a direct line for inquiries about broadband, which can be reached at 845/807-0930.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here