I am in the final stages of my journey to Lake Placid, New York where I had the fabulous opportunity to exchange some ideas with the members of the New York State Telecom Association for the past two days. While the trip is not a cakewalk, it is an important reminder that New York – the state – is certainly not New York City! As a matter of fact, there is a lot of green space, a lot of mountains, a lot of lakes, a lot of land and forest and not very many people (nor continuous wireless spectrum!) once you even travel outside of Albany. That makes for unique, high-cost challenges when it comes to deploying broadband.
State executive director, Bob Puckett does such a wonderful job working for the broadband providers in the state of New York, as evidenced by the recent success of the New York State broadband grant program where $475 million was available for those willing to make buildout commitments and $354 million of that went to the carriers in the state…and complaints are apparently already rolling in from the consumers served by less robust technology, like satellite, where their expectations have already had to be tempered. It was also really interesting to hear that even with the helpful infusion of support from the state, that pole attachment issues – including fees and “make-ready” negotiations from the electric utility side of the equation are holding up deployment to the tune of months. I also love the stories that were shared on consumers and how they use their broadband services and that included folks from the various Olympic training facilities right down the street. It is hard to imagine the tens of thousands of people who must have overwhelmed the Lake Placid infrastructure when the games were held there in 1980.
(That’s just the end of the ski jump in the photo on the right.)
The rest of the meeting was a great combination of discussions on robocalls, IoT, other pressing regulatory issues and good networking among all of the carriers in the state.
Of course, as usual, no one thought I was as funny as I think I am with reminiscing about the classic movie Lake Placid with icon Betty White feeding her cattle to the “monster” that resides in Lake Placid. But no gators sited!