Through the efforts of a detailed study, there is now more information available for wireless providers interested in expanding or creating new service in the Adirondack Park.
Howard Lowe, who served as project director for the an initiative known as the Wireless Clearinghouse Project, addressed the Saranac Town Council Monday night. During his conversation with the board, Lowe discussed how the town was among the pilot communities that received funding from the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Smart Growth Grant program to assist with the study and contribute information which identified and mapped potential sites for telecommunications antennae.
The study — conducted by the Adirondack North Country Association and the State University of New York at Plattsburgh Technical Assistance Center — was recently completed and now provides a list of existing structures in the Adirondack Park where wireless communications antennae would be best installed, if permitted by the Adirondack Park Agency.
“We decided we could come up with an interactive map that, with the cooperation of the towns, would identify these existing structures — water towers, church steeples, private structures — that could be suitable to transmit either cell service or broadband service,” explained Lowe. “We worked with a company to develop a Google-based map with all known structures in the Park.”
As a results approximately 1,500 potential spots were identified and verified by municipalities like the town of Saranac, creating what Lowe said the New York State Wireless Association called a “game-changer.”
“We anticipate now that any wireless companies that are going to try to establish new service or expand existing service will use this Wireless Clearinghouse resource to help them,” said Lowe. “It’s a fact it’s more expensive to establish wireless service in the Adirondack Park because of the regulations than outside the Park. But, people demand their wireless service, the companies want to provide it, hopefully this project will make it easier to get that done.”
“The DEC is happy with it and the town has done a good deed in helping us create this resource for both towns in the Adirondack and for wireless companies looking for potential sites for wireless service,” continued Lowe. “Having good wireless service is essential to economic development, to tourism, and to public safety.
The interactive map created by the Wireless Clearinghouse Project is available on-line at www.giswebhosting.com/wirelessclearinghouse.