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Two members of Congress urge to remove burdensome requirements for fiber optic projects

broadband fiber background
City of Westminster, MD
A truck parks next to industrial spools of fiber optic cable.

Two U.S. representatives from Upstate New York are urging Gov. Kathy Hochul to remove red tape for providers who build out fiber optic cable lines that serve broadband connections.

Representatives Claudia Tenney and Elise Stefanik both serve rural areas and said the state Department of Transportation lays out more burdensome requirements for fiber optic projects along state rights-of-way than for any other project.

They said the permitting process can cost up to $15,000 per mile and takes more time to get approved.

Tenney and Stefanik said these barriers drive up the cost of laying fiber and drive down the ability of providers to serve rural communities. They said it also limits the ability of smaller providers to enter the market.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at