$36M ErieNET Project Closes in on Reality with Local Development Company Directors Appointed

Poloncarz said the ErieNET LDC may start rolling out fiber in the coming months, but the bulk of the work will be done throughout 2023.

BUFFALO, NY – Erie County is getting closer to putting shovels in the ground, or buckets in the sky, to roll out fiber optic cable 400 miles across the county.

The local development company ErieNET [LDC] was formed on Monday, with the appointment of seven directors to the board.

“Every community will have access to it,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “We expect that all said and done, all areas of the county will have high-speed internet access within a few years, which can be leveraged.”

Poloncarz said the ErieNET LDC may start rolling out fiber in the coming months, but the bulk of the work will be done throughout 2023.

ErieNET will criss-cross the county connecting over 150 anchor institutions and nearly every municipality. Wales, one of the most remote parts of the county, is not connected to the project.

At one point, the pandemic pushed ErieNET to the back of Poloncarz’s agenda. Facing a budget crisis due to so many closures, the county announced it was returning at the end of 2020.

Then the US bailout kicked in and the county was able to allocate the necessary funds to move forward.

“We had already set aside some money from Erie County for the development of this, but the actual construction of the hearing when laying the fiber is being paid for by the US bailout,” said Poloncarz. “You can also use US bailout money for sewer projects and high-speed broadband internet, and that’s exactly what it’s all about.”

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