Local telecom to offer triple play to underserved residents in upstate New York

Residents in several northwestern communities could soon be subscribing to cable TV services from Slic Network Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Postdam, N.Y.- based Nicholville Telephone. The company received almost $28 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and that money is being used to lay fiber-optic lines that can be used to address the broadband needs of those in unserved areas of the county.

But Slic is now exploring whether to offer cable as part of its telephone and Internet access bundles. The network will be rolled out over the next three years, according to Slic president/general manger Phillip Wagschal, noting that the company has told town officials where it plans to offer the triple play bundle. Slic doesn't plan to compete against Time Warner (NYSE: TWC-WI), which already holds a franchise in the area. Rather, Wagschal said, it is moving into areas that aren't served by the company.

The areas Slic is wiring only total about 17 percent of the homes that even have access to Time Warner Cable's high speed Internet. "At some point in the future we may add on to the network," he told the Watertown Daily Times. "Then we'll be in direct competition with them."

Slic plans to build 660 miles of fiber-optic line following existing power lines would serve 4,415 homes, 112 businesses and 30 community institutions in sparsely populated areas where large telecom providers are not willing to invest. The expansion will bring the triple play to residents Louisville, Norfolk, Stockholm, Hopkinton, Parishville, Waddington, Mad-rid, Potsdam, Lisbon, Canton, Pierrepont, Clare, Oswegat-chie, Fine, Clifton and Piercefield.

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