A project that has been years in the making to bring another internet service option to Western New York is on the verge of becoming a reality as the Erie Net Internet Service is set to be installed across the county any day.

It was way back in 2019 when Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced the initiative to increase access to broadband internet for residents and businesses throughout Erie County.

Erie Net is the name of the new open-access broadband fiber internet service network, and county officials have announced that 400 miles worth of fiber optic cable is ready to be installed all over the county.

There are many places in Erie County where either high-speed internet isn't available or it's unaffordable. Now, this new service will help those residents have access to the internet and hopefully help close the digital divide.

Erie County Erie Net
Erie County Erie Net

Broadband infrastructure is essential to business, education, healthcare and life in the 21st century and the ErieNET initiative now taking shape will provide 400 miles of such infrastructure across Erie County. This Plan is the template for a sustainable and financially viable open access network that has the capacity to grow and provide service for decades in areas that are currently unserved or underserved... The pandemic made plain just how critical quality, high-speed Internet is to our lives, and too many residents have been left behind because of telecommunications companies’ short-sighted business decisions in the past. My administration is changing that, and thanks to funding from the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan we will be putting a county-spanning 400-mile fiber network in place to better connect and serve county residents and businesses far into the future.
-Mark C. Poloncarz, Erie County Executive

Construction of the new fiber optic internet network is expected to cost around $36 million, with most of the fund being covered by the federal government. This new service from Erie Net is also in addition to additional internet service that is available in the City of Buffalo from Greenlight Networks.

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