Network based systems

Archtop Fiber offers super fast fiber optic network from iPark 87 to serve Ulster, Greene Columbia and Dutchess – Daily Freeman


CITY OF ULSTER, NY – Members of the city’s board of directors are considering an application from newly formed Archtop Fiber for support in developing a digital communications system that can compete with Spectrum along certain sections of the Hudson Valley.

The project would be based on iPark 87 and cover about 120,000 connections in Ulster, Greene, Columbia and Dutchess counties, Shawn Beqaj, the company’s director of development, said at a meeting Thursday.

“It’s a broadband system … which is available in very, very few places in the world at this point,” he said.

“We are building fiber-based internet service and interim phone service at 10 gigabytes (per second) per location,” Beqai said. “The vast majority of fiber systems deliver about one gig…but we’re using this next-generation technology.”

Archtop is asking municipalities to consider seeking federal funding that would help extend lines to underserved areas.

Beqaj said the company has about $350 million in private funding to invest in infrastructure that will use existing poles to span about 1,000 miles on both sides of the Hudson River.

“The beauty of our network architecture is that it lends itself very well to this kind of lateral expansion,” he said. “When you get a cable system they often say if you’re more than 150 feet from the main cable line you have to pay for it and that’s because they need power supplies.”

Beqaj noted that fiber optics have a signal strength range that cannot be matched by existing copper wire lines.

“We can do drops … from the pole to your home regularly at 2,000 feet,” he said. “So we can go about a mile from our main plant, and when we go through some of these small towns and rural areas, you can cover almost the whole city…without doing any diversions.”

Beqai said Archtop Fiber has already entered into agreements for the use of poles from Central Hudson and is completing the engineering work. One of the goals is to align construction with regional efforts to use federal funding to bring broadband to rural areas.

“Broadband is no longer a ‘nice to have’,” he said. “You are at a serious disadvantage as a household if you don’t have it. Whether it’s education, banking, security, if you don’t have broadband, you’re less than capable as a home or business that does.

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