TUPPER LAKE - High-speed Internet access is coming to Long Lake.
The Empire State Development Board recently approved a $596,000 grant for to help Slic Network Solutions extend 27 miles of new Internet service cable and related equipment between Tupper Lake and Long Lake. The new fiber-optic broadband cable will then be connected to 514 homes and 56 businesses.
The grant is part of the North Country's Regional Economic Development Council package and will cover most of the $697,758 Slic applied for through the Consolidated Funding Application process.
Slic currently provides high-speed Internet, voice and data services to more than 3,000 homes in the region.
"We are really a last-mile provider, but this (new project) is a way for us to get from here to there," said Phil Wagschal, president and CTO of Slic Network Solutions. "This build from Tupper Lake to Long Lake is what would be considered a middle-mile kind of project. The middle mile basically connects two points, and the last mile is the feeder around those points that connects to actual households and subscribers."
The new cable will link an existing hub at Tupper Lake's Wild Center nature museum to a yet-to-be-determined location in Long Lake. Typically, Slic engineers try to find a place that is centrally located so they can keep cable lines less than 9 miles long. It's about 20 miles between Tupper Lake and Long Lake, with no community in between.
The Wild Center hub was activated June 3 and connects to Tupper Lake's schools, the Adirondack Public Observatory, the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library and the Tupper Lake Civic Center.
Once completed, the project will provide Long Lake residents with high-speed Internet and open the door for potential subscribers along state Route 30 between that town and Tupper Lake.
"From an economical development standpoint, this will allow seasonal residents to stay longer," Wagschal said. "People can keep in touch with work and can add a day to a weekend because they'll no longer have that connectivity issue. It's essential to the local tourist trade."
Wagschal said the middle-mile portion of the project should be finished before winter, and Long Lake homes and businesses should be connected by next summer.
Contact Shaun Kittle at 891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.