Municipal Broadband programs have become a hot topic in New York State in recent months. Dryden is the First municipality in NYS to own and operate its own Broadband utility, called Dryden Fiber. Before Dryden Fiber was established in 2019, municipal internet didn't exist at all in New York. With Dryden having a low population density compared to other municipalities in NYS, they have struggled to get the entire town internet access.
Town Supervisor Jason Leifer said when the market abandons communities like his, it's now up to local governments to step in and solve their own problems. Dan Lamb, deputy supervisor of Dryden, expresses that Dryden Fiber is revolutionary because its goal is expanding broadband access to every household in the community. Lamb also states affordable internet access is necessary for a community to thrive economically and socially. The cheapest Dryden Fiber plan cost $45 and go up from there depending on the customer's needs. Dryden has stated their reasoning behind starting their own Broadband company isn't to make a profit but rather serve their community. With such a project like this it will cost Dryden an estimated 15 million dollars to develop and operate the system. Dryden has utilized money from the American Rescue Plan and other grants. The Dryden Fiber project is continuing to make ground in its construction process in 2024.
Other municipalities in the area are following in Dryden's footsteps and are researching ways of developing their own Broadband internet service. The town of Caroline, which boarders the town of Dryden, is looking into the possibility of also creating their own broadband internet service called Caroline Fiber. Caroline Town Supervisor Mark Whitmer said he thinks it's the future of Broadband in his town. Whitmer was quoted saying" I think most of my board agrees that this is a better option". "It's investing public money in a public utility that'll serve the public and enhance competition".