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by Gazette staff

In The Adirondacks

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Notes from the North Country

Internet access topic of conference

Pretty much everyone interested in stopping the long-term decline of the human communities in the Adirondacks agrees better, faster Internet access would be helpful.

Clarkson University in Potsdam will host a conference of the Adirondack Initiative for Wired Work on Tuesday, Sept. 8, to discuss the various issues involved in improving access.

Less than half the Adirondack Park now has the broadband service people in other regions now take for granted, and the rural nature of the mountain communities makes the cost per customer high.

Despite those obstacles, the goal of the initiative is that by 2019, the region will have attracted 2,019 new corporate telecommuters or Internet entrepreneurs, pursuing green technology commerce and other economic opportunities while living in the Adirondack Park.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will kick off the Sept. 8 conference with a luncheon speech, after which there will be panel discussions on investing in the new economy, launching a start-up in the Adirondacks, and the existing infrastructure for telecommuting work and pleasure.

Ahead of the conference, the organizers are conducting an online survey of what telecommuters desire, and exploring opportunities to establish "business centers" in the Adirondacks with high-speed Internet access.

A "business center" is already established next to the post office in Blue Mountain Lake, and another is under development in Star Lake, in the northwestern Adirondacks.

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