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Family-Owned Cable And Internet Provider Sees Big Growth Through Broadband For All

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Corning, NY -

The federal government has approved over $500 million to bring broadband to rural America. In response, a local company has been quietly expanding their footprint one megabit at a time.

When we got to Steuben Street, Empire Access technicians were minutes away from bringing fiber internet to a home in Corning. 

"Starting internet speed on fiber is 100 megabits download and 20 megabits upload, so super fast," says Bob VanDelinder, Director of Marketing for Empire Access.

VanDelinder describes fiber as having a light-wave connection to the internet. 

"With that, we run a non-blocking network it's called and customers aren't sharing their internet connection with their neighbors," says VanDelinder, "So you don't get that slow-down and congestion that you get with a copper cable."

While the family-owned company based in Prattsburg competes with Spectrum in cities like Corning and Elmira, their biggest growth has been in rural areas through New York's Broadband For All program.

"A lot of times we're the only provider in those areas," says VanDelinder. 

Residents in towns like Waverly, Sayre, and Naples, who had no high-speed internet, are now seeing speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, with the ability to get even faster speeds.

Empire won $5 million through the first and second rounds of Broadband For All to connect around 3,500 homes and businesses. They're so busy now, the company didn't apply for third round funding. 

"We're in the construction phase, so in the upcoming months we'll begin installing customers and selling the services," says VanDelinder.

VanDelinder expects work to be finished by the end of this year.