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East Side neighborhoods benefit from expansion of broadband choices

Greenlight Networks has begun expanding to the East Side of Buffalo as the continues to grow Buffalo presence.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — When 2 On Your Side first started reporting consistently about broadband access in 2019, there was only one major provider in Buffalo proper. 

Now, nearly four years later there are several, Verizon and T-Mobile have begun rolling out 5G to the home service, and Verizon even has expanded FiOS to some north Buffalo neighborhoods. 

But Greenlight Networks has expanded the most. At first, they began on the West Side and worked its way through parts of Allentown, the Grant St. neighborhoods, and the Elmwood Village. 

For at least two years, however, 2 On Your Side has asked the company about its plans to expand through the East Side.

CEO Mark Murphy was always transparent that the East Side was part of their Buffalo plans. 

Now those plans are a reality with installation nearly completed for 1,000 homes in the Hamlin Park neighborhood. 

"They can expect the fastest internet in New York State," Murphy said  "They can also expect to pay a lot less for it than they may be paying today with their current provider.

Greenlight says they expect to have 2,000 additional East Side homes connected by the end of the year. 

The Buffalo rollout hasn't been a cakewalk, however. 

Last year there were issues with easements in Elmwood Village that the company is still working through. 

Additionally, dense urban neighborhoods are just complicated to connect because of so many obstacles, according to Murphy. 

"We run into in Buffalo yards with fences, they've got gates, they've got trees that may be running into the utility lines, all those things need to be cleared and taken care of before we can actually get access," Murphy said. "It just takes time and persistence."

The expansion of choices for internet service on the East Side is welcome news to Don Matteson, facilitator at the WNY Digital Equity Coalition. 

"We've really had a monopoly with only a single provider in the area," Matteson said. "We're very excited to see that there's another provider coming into the area, providing a little bit of competition, which might help us see better speeds and lower prices overall."

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