The Southern Tier Network (STN), a community-owned dark fiber network that spans multiple counties in upstate New York, enables fast, affordable, reliable Internet access in New York’s Southern Tier region. Locally based private Internet service provider Empire Access offers services via the network as it continues to expand.
The Corning Leader reports that Empire Access intends to offer residential Internet access over the STN in the Cities of Corning and Elmira sometime in the next year.
Empire Access, which offers current customers Internet access, voice, and 200-plus Digital TV channels, is waiting to launch services in Corning and Elmira until after they gain approval from the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC) to provide digital TV services in these communities. Although the company could begin offering fiber and phone services at any time, the company wants to be able to offer the full bundle of options before they officially launch in Coring and Elmira.
As Stop the Cap! wrote in a June 2015 article about the STN, the business strategy at Empire Access is focused on bringing Internet access to areas of the state where Verizon refuses to go and where Time Warner Cable’s service tops out at 50 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 5 Mbps upload. For current residential customers, Empire Access offers bundled services about $30 per month on average less than competitors.
In addition Corning and Elmira, Empire Service now provides triple play services via the STN Network to the City of Hornell, the Town of Bath, and the Village of Watkins Glen.
Economic Benefits of the STN
As the Corning Leader notes in their article, some businesses in Elmira and Corning are already getting fiber connectivity via Empire Access and the Southern Tier Network. But when we last wrote about the STN in December of 2015, we quoted Elmira-based business owner Mike Mitchell, who had expressed frustration about the lack of fast and affordable Internet services for Elmira businesses:
“It's very, very slow. It's hurting our productivity” Mike Mitchell told the Elmira Star-Gazette last summer. “We hear complaints from our tenants and all the other businesses on this side of the street.”
Thanks to the STN, Mitchell recently told us via email that his building now has a fiber connection and that he expects service to his business in Elmira to be up and running by the end of March.