Finger Lakes Technologies Group (FLTG) has finished a more than 30-mile extension of its fiber network into the Elmira area and now has its sights set on more expansion east, west, and south.
The extension into the Southern Tier is a joint venture with Empire Telephone of Prattsburgh. The new entity is known as FLTG South with all services coming from FLTG, a telecommunications company based in Victor.
Empire is an investor in FLTG South and is providing its work force and trucks for the venture. Services are aimed at commercial clients and include broadband and phone.
The company also provides dark fiber, allowing entities like universities to purchase access to its fiber for their own network purposes. FLTG provides connectivity services as well, linking clients with multiple sites together.
Now that the network has reached Elmira, FLTG plans to extend its reach into Horseheads and Corning, FLTG President and CEO Paul Griswold says. In 2013, the company expects to build out its network toward Binghamton and also into northern Pennsylvania.
It’s a natural extension for FLTG to move south, Griswold says. The company previously served the Ithaca area.
The presence of Corning, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, and a number of hospitals in the Elmira–Corning area makes the market a good fit for FLTG, Griswold adds.
“Our market is rural America,” he says.
Although FLTG also serves larger cities like Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester, its sweet spot is smaller urban centers like Ithaca, Elmira, and Corning, Griswold says.
FLTG South completed the expansion to Elmira just a couple of weeks ago. The company already has clients for its dark fiber services and customers signed up for its communications offerings.
Griswold says Binghamton will probably be the farthest east FLTG goes for now. Farther than that and the market becomes more crowded with competitors, he notes. As for Pennsylvania, the network will extend toward Sayre and Mansfield.
FLTG has 100 employees and about 1,000 customers. The company provides services to about 13,000 lines total and serves 14 cities.
The firm does not disclose financial information.
In addition to its telecommunications services, FLTG has a Cisco business. The company provides equipment like phones, switching gear, and wireless hardware.
The two sides of the business pair well together, Griswold says.
“We may enter selling Cisco products and then they find out we have fiber too,” he says. “Both of those are growing at a steady pace.”
Demand for faster and less expensive Internet access and competitive long-distance prices have both been driving FLTG’s business in recent years, he adds.
FLTG is an affiliate of The Ontario & Trumansburg Telephone Companies.
The companies trace their origin to 1920, when the Griswold family first founded the Ontario Telephone Company to serve residents in Phelps and Clifton Springs.
The company added Trumansburg Telephone in 1927 and founded Finger Lakes Technologies in the mid-1990s. Griswold, who took over as president and CEO of all the companies in August 2005, is the fourth generation of his family involved in running the companies.