Rochester-based internet provider plans to expand in Buffalo

Greenlight Networks expects to provide internet service for Buffalo in 2020

Mike Baggerman
December 17, 2019 - 8:53 am

Downtown Buffalo. October 9, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - The City of Buffalo could have a new internet service provider thanks to a $100 million investment by the former owner of the Buffalo Sabres, Tom Golisano.

Greenlight Networks, a Rochester-based internet company, is on the fast-track to coming to Buffalo. It will be the second internet service provider that comes to the city, which currently utilizes Spectrum.

Spectrum has received much criticism over the years due to its lack of internet speeds. It was a year ago that Buffalo was rated among the cities with the worst broadband internet in the country. The company did not address many of the complaints, largely because they were the only provider in town and residents had no choice but to use the company.

Greenlight Networks touts starting internet speeds at 500 megabits at $50 a month. They also claim internet speeds of two gigabits.

"As we all know, streaming technologies and capabilities from Netflix and Hulu and whatever else have changed the entire video and entertainment industry and how people consume entertainment and news," Greenlight Networks President & CEO Mark Murphy said. "They need a lot of bandwidth. They need quality bandwidth at an affordable price."

Golisano, a controlling equity partner of Greenlight Networks, said it's a great opportunity for investors and the community.

"The need is there," Golisano said. "The pricing is right. We have the people capable of doing it. They've already done it once with much success. To me, it's a real opportunity for everybody."

Greenlight Networks is currently in negotiations with the City of Buffalo. Much of the negotiations are currently about zoning and allowing the company to utilize city infrastructure for internet.

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"I think it's going to take about a year," Buffalo Common Councilman Richard Fontana told WBEN's A New Morning. "I think they'll be up and running in 2020. They want to have their franchise agreement by February. They're on an aggressive timeframe."

The internet company hopes to have 80,000 homes in the City of Buffalo and Rochester by the end of 2020. By 2022, they hope to service 230,000 homes.

Fontana said Spectrum is not offering any deals to Buffalo residents because there is no other competition in the area. He hopes that will change if Greenlight Networks comes in.

"There's specific blocks that they can build into and it's across the entire city," Fontana said while noting that it will eventually expand across the entire region.

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