The Town of Nichols in Tioga County has been named one of four communities to take part in New York State’s ConnectALL program, an initiative aimed at bringing affordable broadband internet access to rural communities across the state. The ConnectALL program will work to transform New York’s digital infrastructure and expand broadband access, affordability, and equity statewide. The program is investing $10 million to target areas where existing state-owned fiber can create a fiber bridge between large data centers (first mile) and individual homes (last mile), primarily in rural areas that are not serviced by private broadband providers.
In the Town of Nichols, the capital funding provided by ConnectALL, along with
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds provided by the Tioga County Legislature, and ARPA funds from the Town of Nichols, will allow Southern Tier Network (STN) to build a 35-mile open access, fiber-to-the-premise network to reach unserved and underserved households.
STN will collaborate with Tioga County, the Town of Nichols and New York Power Authority (NYPA) to complete the project. The infrastructure will leverage STN’s existing middle-mile, dark fiber, open access network running through the Town of Nichols. STN will own, operate, and maintain the telecom infrastructure, and will contract with internet service providers who will provide high-speed broadband internet service to each connected residence.
Esther Woods, Town of Nichols council woman said, “The Town of Nichols is very pleased with receiving the grant to install high speed internet for the Town. It has been very difficult since the pandemic started with people working from home, children doing online classes, and not being able to have access to high-speed internet.”