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Northland president named chair of NYS Telecom Association

By Journal Staff (


Jim McCarthy

Jim McCarthy, president of Northland Communications, was recently named board chair of the New York State Telecommunications Association (NYSTA).

McCarthy, who has been a member of the NYSTA board since 2011, will serve a two-year term leading the association and representing telecommunications and broadband providers across the state.

Based in Albany, NYSTA represents the New York telecom industry before federal and state lawmakers and regulatory agencies. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the NYSTA board of directors has focused on assisting member companies through education, legislative advocacy, and assisting with reopening process. 

“The recent challenges created by COVID-19 clearly show that we must make robust, high speed broadband services available to all New Yorkers,” McCarthy said in a news release. “The state needs to adopt policies that provide adequate incentives for investment in telecommunications infrastructure, especially to ensure continued deployment of advanced broadband technologies, including in rural areas of New York.”

As board chair, McCarthy says he plans to advocate for the needs of incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) throughout New York state and bring awareness as to what NYSTA members have done to bridge the broadband gap.

“Jim has brought a unique perspective to the NYSTA organization, having successfully led a company serving rural New Yorkers in Oneida County as well as a large regional telecommunications company,” said Robert Puckett, president of NYSTA. “His experience will be an asset in his role as NYSTA’s Chairman.”

In addition to Northland Communications, McCarthy serves as president of Northland’s sister company, Oneida County Rural Telephone (OCRT), which continues expanding its broadband coverage to underserved areas of the state. Last year, the company completed a 140-mile fiber-network expansion project as part of the “New NY Broadband Program,” reaching upwards of 1,600 households. 

Members of NYSTA include large international communications companies such as Verizon, CentruryLink, Windstream, and Consolidated Communications, as well as rural providers such as OCRT.

With offices in Holland Patent and Syracuse Northland Communications offers voice, data, and equipment services to businesses over its fiber-optic network. Northland has been in business for 115 years.