NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. — As the push continues for better broadband access residents in North Tonawanda will in the coming months and years have another option for an internet provider with the claim of much higher speeds.
Rochester-based Greenlight Networks is expanding its Western New York footprint with a North Tonawanda connection.
The announcement Thursday of a $12.5 million investment by Greenlight continues its Western New York broadband buildout, this time by expanding service to a projected 12,000 or more customers over the next two years in the City of North Tonawanda.
Greenlight Networks CEO Mark Murphy made this claim.
"We're going to give folks that wanna stay here in North Tonawanda opportunities to work from home and have a broadband experience that will be equivalent to having to go to any major city in the United States," Murphy said.
This is a continuation of Greenlight's efforts to spread into the Buffalo area internet provider market and compete head-on with long time players Spectrum and Verizon. Murphy says it has the technology to provide its popular one gig service at a certain price, and then offer up to even five gigs with this business strategy.
"The companies that are saying, 'Well, you've got enough, you don't need more and one gig is plenty and that's all.' I mean, we were doing a gig 11 years ago when we were offering that. We were first to market in that service, and customers use the bandwidth, and so we like to leave it up our customers to decide how they're going to use it."
As for the five-gig option, Murphy notes it would apply to some households in particular.
"Certainly gaming if there's multiple users in the house. Video streaming. Folks that need to do a lot of upload for the work that they're doing. You know work at home is happening more and more, and when we launched the service, I think we were all quite surprised with the amount of people that already signed up for it," Murphy said.
Per their website, Greenlight has also been planning, building, or now operating in parts of Buffalo like the West Side, Elmwood Village, North Buffalo, and the town of Cheektowaga.
As for expansion to East Buffalo where their federal funded discount affordable connection service might apply, Murphy said: "We work pretty closely with City Hall to make sure that we get through the permitting process to get through the city. But we certainly continue to expand in the city of Buffalo. The snowstorms were tough on everybody, including us, in terms of construction, so we'll continue to press on."
With Greenlight becoming more of a regional player, 2 On Your Side we did reach out to the area's other internet service providers.
A Spectrum spokesperson says in a statement: "We have offered gig service for over four years throughout our entire WNY service area, not just select areas, and we have a pathway to symmetrical gig and multiple gig speeds, all with no modem fees, data caps or contracts."
Then a Verizon spokesman told us: "Verizon is continuing a five-year Fios network transformation buildout in the Buffalo area, including in Amherst, Williamsville, West Seneca and Hamburg. We’re constantly evaluating and planning regional network strategy for future network expansion. That said, for competitive reasons, we're unable to comment on future build plans.
"In areas where we offer Fios, we're proud to offer customers on our 5G premium unlimited plans our 300mbps connection. And for individuals who qualify for the Affordable Connectivity program, our 300mbps connection is free with the Verizon Forward discount."