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Plan floated for Lake Placid fiber

Agency eyes high-speed connection along Main Street

LAKE PLACID — A Watertown-based development authority is considering outfitting Lake Placid’s Main Street with fiber optic internet before winter. Before they move forward, the agency wants to hear from local business owners to see whether there’s support for the initiative.

The infrastructure the Development Authority of the North Country has proposed installing — a wire submerged in Mirror Lake and five or six above-ground terminals along the shoreline — would have the potential to bring uniform download and upload speeds of up to 100 megabits per second to businesses there, with a network capacity of up to 100 gigabits, according to David Wolf, general manager of DANC.

The download speed businesses in that area have now could be anywhere from 7 to 100 megabits per second, but the upload speeds often aren’t uniform, according to Robert Durantini, director of network facilities and construction for DANC.

Once the fiber optic line is laid along Mirror Lake, DANC would offer up the infrastructure to other internet providers such as Spectrum, who could then lease space and sell the service to customers.

The wire would run from the North Elba Town Hall north along the east side of Main Street. It’d be submerged in Mirror Lake around 10 to 15 feet deep, Durantini said, with 3-foot-tall terminals similar to existing telecom infrastructure along the shoreline. DANC would need to obtain easements for each terminal. Submerging the wire in the lake would let the authority circumvent tearing up the sidewalk and street to lay the wire underground.

On the west side of Main Street, the authority would string the fiber optic cable along existing telephone poles.

“We would have that piece covered,” Durantini said at a fiber optic forum hosted by the Lake Placid Business Association Wednesday.

This Main Street fiber optic connection would be another piece of an ongoing fiber optic network buildout by the authority, which has already laid lines throughout Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake. Altogether, its network branches out across 1,800 miles within the North Country.

“It’s an expensive service to build and maintain,” said Wolf. “We think we can do this relatively cost-effectively and at no cost to the village.”

In exchange for laying the infrastructure, Durantini said he hopes the village will provide in-kind services for other projects. But Wolf said there would be “no cost to taxpayers” to install the service.

Once the line is laid, providers would be able to access it and start service within a week, according to Durantini.

“We’re looking for feedback from the business community,” he said.

For more information, or to offer comments on the plan, Main Street business owners can call DANC’s business development executive Anthony Cerrone at 315-661-3295 or acerrone@danc.org.

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