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Virginia Butler

Rochester-based high-speed Internet service provider Greenlight Networks, LLC, whose efforts to expand its fiber-optic network are progressing slowly, is being fueled by billionaire philanthropist Thomas Golisano.

Greenlight and Golisano's Grand Oaks LLC of Pittsford has filed a joint petition with the New York Public Service Commission requesting an accelerated approval of the acquisition of Greenlight by Grand Oaks for an undisclosed sum.

Greenlight has been operating since 2012. In the east of Monroe County, the company provided an affordable, lightning-fast Internet service, offering customers an alternative to the behemoths Charter / Spectrum and Frontier Communications.

However, the company's fiber-optic expansion is progressing at a snail's pace, especially in the suburbs west of the Genesee River, frustrating potential consumers.

The petition stated that Grand Oaks will acquire the majority stake in Greenlight and that the proposed transactions are "in the public interest."

"Approval of the proposed transaction, such as This petition will serve the public interest as Greenlight will receive significant additional capital and management resources through this approval to further the development of the competitive high-speed broadband market and allow Greenlight to do so "Extending and expanding its fiber-optic network is becoming a more effective competitor," read the petition.

Greenl The petition states that light is "critical" in the construction of its high-speed broadband and fiber networks. The review and approval of the acquisition of Golisano is urgently needed as Charter / Spectrum plans to launch the gigabit service in the near future throughout the state of New York except Buffalo.

Greenlight's current rates and conditions do not change. The acquisition would allow Jobs to grow, said Grand Oaks.

More: Rochester's Internet speeds fall far behind New York City, Syracuse and Albany

"Surely we're complete I'm thrilled to have Mr. Golisano as partner and us We're excited about all the people who have been patiently waiting for our service, "said Mark Murphy, President of Greenlight, on Saturday.

"This positions us to expand much broader and faster – Tom's philanthropy is so remarkable and we could not ask for a better partner for the future."

Murphy said the company plans to "when and where we're going to announce "soon, but said that a significant expansion of the network would take place the last half of 2018. According to its website, Greenlight currently serves Irondequoit, Webster, Brighton, East Rochester, Fairport, Pittsford and Henrietta. It could possibly expand in Greece, Gates, Buffalo, Syracuse, Ithaca, Binghamton and Albany.

More consumers are cutting traditional cable services and streaming television and movies over the Internet.

"Most of our consumers do this" The driver wants that kind of bandwidth to decide where he should get his video from, "Murphy said.

He said that Golisano's interest in Greenlight and the subsequent investment proposal" The development is good news for consumers, said Phillip Dampier of Brighton, the founder of the website stopthecap.com

He said the success of Greenlight depends on the ability of its fiber-optic network rapidly expanding before Charter Spectrum, its big competitor, capitalizes on the new ability to reach Greenlight's download speeds.

Spectrum's recent move to fully digital channel formats has freed up more broadband space, making the company increase its Internet speeds for customers.

"Greenlight stayed on the east side of Genesee because its problem was not adequately capitalized, they did not have the means to push fiber, and they really do have it now, & # 39; ; "Said Dampier." With Golisano's skills and ability to raise capital, this means a much faster launch of this service.

"Many businesses and consumers in Greece and Gates are hungry for this service, so it's very good news, it will give Greenlight a much higher profile and the company itself has expressed much more expansion outside of Rochester."

Dampier said his group would submit a supporting petition to get expedited approval of the agreement.

Greenlight offers 100 megabits of second-to-second service for 50 to 1000 Mbps, which advertises 100 times faster than the average. That costs $ 100 a month.

Spectrum customers in New York will soon have access to 200 Mbps for $ 65 and up to $ 940 for $ 125 a month. There is an activation fee.

LROTH@gangebett.com

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