Broadband Project Update
Broadband Project Update
Thanks for visiting our page! We are very excited to be entering a new era here at Otsego Electric Cooperative to begin providing a fiber optic broadband internet service in part of our service area here in Central New York. We see the challenge in getting fast internet service to our rural areas as a similar challenge faced by Otsego Electric Cooperative at its inception. Members who lived “off the beaten path” were not being offered electricity so the cooperative was formed to get service to them. We believe that this effort will enhance the quality of life for our members and provide opportunities for education, business, and economic development.
We were fortunate to win a grant by the New New York Broadband Program. The areas available for grant money did not include all of our members so we were forced to pick a mapping strategy based on what was available. We will initially build to about 714 households in the first segment of building the system.
We have been hard at work since we were awarded the grant in March this year doing make-ready work, gathering GPS data, inspecting and changing poles, working with some of the towns on communication shelter placement, fine tuning our design, seeking bids, and signing agreements with equipment companies and carriers. A lot of preparation and behind-the-scenes work goes into building a fiber optic network from the ground up. We understand it can be frustrating and we thank you for your patience while we are in the building stages.
Now that we are finishing up with the preliminary plans for the first part of the broadband project, we will be moving into the construction phase soon (hopefully before January 1st). We will be starting the project at our Laurens substation located on Otsego County Route 10 in the Town of Laurens. From there we will build-out in a few directions. We will head west down County Highway 10 towards West Laurens and Ellis Road in the Town of Morris; east toward the Oneonta Airport and north toward New Lisbon. Once those lines are built, we will be moving to areas within our Oaksville and Richfield substation service areas. Our schedule is to start adding internet and voice (VoIP) customers in some of the Laurens, Morris, Otego and New Lisbon areas in the spring of 2018.
The prices for service have not been set yet but they will be very competitive. We will offer service with speeds of 100 megabits per second up to 1 gigabit per second for those wanting faster service. We will also offer a bundling discount for a “double play” when customers elect internet and voice services.
We also applied for more grant money in Phase 3 of the New York Broadband Grant program based on the mapped areas that were made available for reimbursement. If we win this bid for another grant, this will help us get service to more of our members. However, we will still not get to all of our members with the money from these grants. We are committed to making better internet service available to all of our members eventually but we have to build to the reimbursable areas first.
We are committed to making service available to all members eventually. Some members are already served by other providers but we might build to all, or offer comparable service to all, of OEC’s members eventually if it will be feasible.
Please call our office at 607-293-6622 if you have any questions.
Below is a map that shows the first part of our build. Please note that it is not to scale but it provides an illustration of the general boundaries of the system. There may be variations based on actual siting of services and surveying of the service areas.
(This deployment of broadband service is supported by a grant awarded to Otsego Electric Cooperative by New York State through the New NY Broadband Program.)