LITTLE VALLEY — When the general manager of Armstrong Broadband spoke to county lawmakers 18 months ago, he predicted hundreds of miles of cable would be strung and ready to hook up in Cattaraugus County by the end of 2019.
On Wednesday, Armstrong general manager John Beaver stood before county legislators to say that has been delayed because of what he said were unreasonable demands by National Grid.
Armstrong, a company headquartered in Addison near Corning, was the successful bidder to provide high-speed internet service on hundreds of Southern Tier census blocks. The company also awarded the company grants to purchase and install coaxial cable.
National Grid, Beaver said, is “expecting us to replace their (pole) inventory” from the state grant. “We have to take a stand.”
When Armstrong pointed out broken poles or potential problems with transformers for example, the power company sought to have Armstrong replace it, Beaver said. This could cost the company up to $40,000 a mile as compared to $5,000 a mile in other locations.
“These are some of the challenges we face,” Beaver said. “We’re half-way into Allegany County and should be starting in Cattaraugus County soon.”
Beaver said the Franklin County Legislator has passed a resolution asking the state to resolve the issue and suggested Armstrong would welcome a similar resolution from Cattaraugus and Allegany counties.
Beaver said people can go to ArmstrongNY.com to see if the internet company will provide service in their neighborhood.
Legislator Joseph Snyder, R-Ischua, told Beaver the company website “still shows you are going to be up and running (here) in 2019. Can you change that?”
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)