Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Representative Anthony Brindisi (D-NY-22) today announced $1,552,594 in federal funding for the Southern Tier Network in Corning. The funding was allocated by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and will be used to increase access to reliable internet service across the Southern Tier. In December of 2018, a car collided with a telephone pole, causing a wide-spread internet outage that shut down internet connection for local businesses and critical public services like hospitals and emergency responders. This funding will help the Southern Tier Network prevent future network-wide outages by designing and installing fiber loops in strategic locations throughout Steuben, Schuyler, Chemung, Yates, Tompkins, and Tioga Counties. This new fiber network will allow data to travel along different routes to maintain internet access in the event of a localized power outage.
“The Southern Tier deserves the best and fastest internet service out there and with this investment, they’re one step closer to getting just that,” said Senator Schumer. “After the 2018 crash, we learned firsthand the devastating impacts an outage can have and how paramount strong, safe, and reliable internet is for local communities. I will continue to do all I can to strengthen and expand Upstate New Yorkers’ access to internet and other vital communication links.”
“Reliable and fast internet access is a necessity in the 21st century. Families, workers, and businesses who can’t access the internet are cut off from critical services and economic opportunities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding is great news for the Southern Tier Network and it will help ensure that the internet network in the region is strong enough to withstand local power outages. I will always fight in the Senate to ensure that New Yorkers have the resources they need to be successful.”
“Southern Tier families rely on broadband to keep their businesses running, succeed in school, connect with medical professionals, and so much more,” said Congressman Brindisi. “This investment will go a long way to making sure our communities have access to reliable internet service. Affordable and reliable broadband is so important to the Southern Tier’s economy and I will never stop working to bring those resources to our communities.”
“Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board (STC) and Southern Tier Network (STN) are excited to be awarded the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) POWER funding for expansion of broadband in a five county region! STC and STN have worked side-by-side since STN’s creation in 2011 for a common goal of providing reliable necessary critical broadband infrastructure to a multi-county region,” said Chelsea Robertson, Executive Director of Southern Tier Central Regional Planning & Development Board. “This project will ensure that the existing 500+ mile open access dark fiber network will remain resilient, with fewer outages and will provide opportunities for new and existing businesses, reliable 911 service and access to education and healthcare. Broadband is critical to individual’s lives when it comes to kids doing homework, emergencies being handled, banks doing business, telehealth providing services and entrepreneurs starting up. For our region to remain competitive, broadband is necessary. We appreciate this funding as it brings our region one step closer to 100% reliable broadband access to all.”
The funding was allocated through the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian region. More information can be found here.