Southern Tier Network will supply access to the new telecommunications network, not Internet connectivity itself. It will lease network capacity to telecommunication carriers, governments, educational institutions and healthcare organizations, as well as other commerical and industrial businesses. The initiative will focus on partnerships with service providers and encourage the use of the optical fiber backbone to expand competitive services throughout the region, including more rural areas. The optical fiber backbone will be open to any viable entity for use in supporting the creation and delivery of technologies and services. The network is meant to complement the established carrier infrastructure and not to devalue existing investments in the community.
The Southern Tier Network ultimately will connect to other regional open access networks. STN's business plan mirrors the successful and nationally-recognized model now operational in Ontario County, NY. The Ontario County fiber ring is a model for rural communities seeking broadband access, and was implmeented and facilitated by ECC Technologies, Inc., STC's technical advisor in the Southern Tier Network intiative.