The University at Buffalo has been perhaps one of the most foresighted institutions in Erie County when it comes to community-owned fiber optics. Back in the 1990s they recognized the viability of building out their own institutional network (which is exactly what we want the City/County to do--with the caveat that they reinvest savings back into the network), as opposed to continuing to lease lines from Adelphia. Even after rolling out all the infrastructure, buying the fiber, burying it, and all the logistics involved, it was still in their best financial interests to do so.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this is that there is an example right here at home of what different communities around the country have gone through--incumbents jacking up rates when contracts expire, then localities taking control, cutting the incumbents loose, and building out their own networks. There are plenty of examples of municipalities and schools across the US that recognized obscene (for lack of a better term) savings-per-megabit by going this route.

The first phase of UB's buildout was completed back in 2001, at a cost of around one million dollars. Since then, they've been expanding it, connecting other colleges (such as Buff State and Canisius), medical and research facilities, the State DoT, and the NFTA.

Check out the map below to see where UB has fiber infrastructure. It's pretty extensive! And it gives us hope that more like it can be done in our region.