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Slic Network adds high-definition local channels, boosts bandwidth

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NICHOLVILLE — Slic Network Solutions has brought high-definition local TV stations to its customers for the first time and doubled its broadband capacity as it prepares to expand.

Slic until recently was providing its customers with local stations from Watertown through an over-the-air antenna erected at its headquarters in Nicholville. The reception was spotty, according to company sales engineer Jeffrey M. Yette.

“We weren’t getting a good enough TV signal,” he said.

To fix this, the company established a fiber-optic connection bringing high-definition local stations from Watertown to Nicholville.

The connection was made with help from an unidentified “technology partner,” Mr. Yette said.

“It was really the only way that we could get a reliable, high-quality signal,” he said.

The networks CBS, Fox, PBS, NBC and the CW are now available.

It costs several thousand dollars a month to maintain the connection, according to Mr. Yette, and with only 800 television customers, the company does not plan to see a return on investment soon, although it hopes the improvements will bring in new customers.

“We’re constantly trying to keep up with our current customers’ requests and our future customers’ demands,” he said.

Slic officials also noticed that Internet speeds were slowing down in some regions, and the company doubled its bandwidth capacity to compensate.

The company has received grants to expand its Internet service to Bellmont, Lyon Mountain, Long Lake and Schroon Lake. It likely will add even more bandwidth soon to prepare for the greater number of customers.

“We monitor our bandwidth pretty regularly, and any time we get to 75 or 80 percent capacity we know it’s time to order more,” he said.

Slic has hired Clarkson University graduate and Hammond native Jeffrey Truskowski to focus on commercial sales to build the number of customers in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties.

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