Hartford Internet Tower

Below is a Post Star story about the proposed Internet Tower on Shine Hill Rd. Dana

Hartford could get a tower for Internet service

• BILL TOSCANO – btoscano@poststar.com(0) Comments
HARTFORD — A broadband Internet company will present its plan for a 120-foot tower on Shine Hill Road to the town’s Planning Board at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall.

Hudson Valley Wireless is already working with Washington County’s emergency tower system to improve local Internet accessibility,

“We’re trying to blend into the landscape the best we can. We are going with a monopole, rather than a tower with guide wires,” said Jason Guzzo, general manager of Hudson Valley Wireless. “In terms of feedback, everybody seems to be positive. We know a lot of people want Internet, and that’s what we’re here to do,”

Guzzo’s company is spending this week at the Washington County Fair as it gets ready to expand into the region.

Earlier this year, the company was awarded $2.4 million through the Connect N.Y. Broadband grant program. The money funds a public/private partnership that includes nearly all of Washington County.

Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff supports the tower project as a crucial first step.

“We need to step into the 21st century,” said Haff, who hopes Hudson Valley will follow the first tower, which is in the southern end of town, with one in the northern end. “Hartford is underserved when it comes to cell signal and Internet access. In this day and age, if you cannot get high-speed Internet, you are the Stone Age.”

Some parts of Hartford do have cable access and others can access the Internet through Hudson Valley’s tower in Argyle or through other means.

But the Hudson Valley service is line-of-sight, which is why its executives want to put up the Shine Hill tower.

“I’d like to see them build another tower on the north end of town and send the signal there,” Haff said. “But the eastern part of town is really hilly, so we may have to come up with another way to do that. The people in the central part of town can get the cable for Internet, TV and phone service.”

Haff also said he hopes Hudson Valley will allow a cell-phone service to share its tower.

“If I want cell service, I have to walk to the bottom of my driveway and hold my arm up,” Haff said. “That’s something else we really need in town. If you do not have high-speed Internet and cell-phone service, you are going to depopulate your town. People will move away.”

Hudson Valley will turn in its site-plan review packet Tuesday, and the Planning Board will schedule a public hearing, most likely for September. It will also be reviewed by the Washington County Planning Board, because it is in an agricultural district. The county Planning Board can make recommendations, but the final decision is up to the town Planning Board.

“We know we need to have the public hearing, and we understand this takes time, but we are really looking forward to serving Hartford,” Guzzo said.