Seneca Nation Bringing Broadband to Territory

October 31, 2012 Updated Oct 31, 2012 at 8:58 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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Seneca Nation Bringing Broadband to Territory

October 31, 2012 Updated Oct 31, 2012 at 8:58 AM EDT

IRVING, NY (WKBW/Release) - The Seneca Nation of Indians announced today that plans to bring broadband high-speed internet capability to the Nation’s territory here are moving forward and should be complete this year.

During the last year, steps have been taken to conduct a site survey in preparation of erecting a wireless tower on the Cattaraugus Territory. Seneca Telecommunications, a subsidiary of Seneca Holdings, worked on the project under the supervision of the Nation’s Capital Improvements Authority and Nation Treasurer Brad John.

Seneca Telecomm will next analyze the feasibility of providing broadband internet access on the territory, home to about 4,000 Nation members. Seneca Telecomm performed an onsite assessment and is analyzing the data obtained to determine what options are available.

Its technicians will report back to the Nation’s Council later this month on their findings.

“This is a capability that our people obviously deserve and I’m pleased to see this project move forward,” said Council Chairman Richard E. Nephew. “I want to particularly thank those at Seneca Telcomm, Councillor Nikki Seneca and Treasurer Brad John for working so hard to bring this capability to our people.”

The territory, which straddles Routes 5 & 20 in a valley along the Lake Erie shoreline in Irving, currently has poor internet access for most internet and smart phone service. The major problem is antiquated phone lines, which limit most people to very slow dial up service for internet access.

“Broadband will provide a great new capacity for internet access for our students, families and business,” Nephew said.

This project, in the works for some time, would improve the situation.

“The reason for the site survey is to determine the technical design approach and overall capability,” John said. “We’re only going to do this once, so we want to do it right. It’s great having a Nation company like Seneca Telcomm, which has this expertise, to assist us.”

This development comes in the wake of last week’s announcement that the Nation leaders, acting on a retail feasibility study completed this summer, are considering the next phase of plans that could lead to a 400,000-square-foot outlet mall on a 108-acre site just off Exit 58 of the state Thruway near here.

If the project continues forward in the 2012-2014 presidential administration of Richard E. Nephew, it’s expected to create an estimated 250 construction jobs and 750 full- and part-time retail jobs when fully built out.