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Groups plans to bring broadband to area

SCHUYLER COUNTY—At the Schuyler County Legislature monthly meeting held on Feb. 14 Legislator Tom Gifford announced the development of an optical telecommunication infrastructure in the county.
The Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board (STC) has been working for several years on the project to bring the 235 mile optical fiber ring to Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben Counties. The $12.2 million project is being made possible due to a $10 million grant from Corning, Inc.  In exchange for this financial support, each of the counties will use the new network to reduce existing communications costs for public safety and interoffice communications.
According to the STC, construction is expected to begin in June, 2011, on the 235-mile optical fiber ring, and will take approximately 30 months to complete.  The board has been working for several years to develop the strategic plan, establish a community partnership and secure the funding necessary to significantly enhance the telecommunications infrastructure available in the region.
A newly developed non-for-profit corporation, Southern Tier Network, Inc., created to own, build, and manage the ring will supply access to the network.  Southern Tier Network will supply access to the new telecommunications network, not Internet connectivity itself.  It will lease network capacity to telecommunication carriers, governments, educational institutions, and health care organizations.  
County Administrator Tim O’Hearn commented, “To a small rural county such as ours, this is the equivalent of having an interstate highway in our backyard.  Instead of an interstate we will have the information super highway. High speed Internet access and broadband expansion may well be the single biggest economic development initiative undertaken this decade in Schuyler County.”
The legislature approved the sale of the Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) currently being operated by the county. The county passed an agreement with Genesee Region Home Care Association (GRHCA) to provide the services currently provided by CHHA. GRHCA has the necessary personnel, facilities, and ability to provide the management and administrative services which Schuyler County experienced difficulty in providing.
Saturday, March 19 has been set as the tax auction sale date. The eighteen properties which have gone through foreclosure due to nonpayment of taxes will be sold at that time.




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