Bob VanDelinder, Vice President of Sales at Empire Access, joins Broadband Communities’ podcast, Broadband Ripple, to discuss Empire Access’ efforts in local markets and its recent growth, including its recent expansions in Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania communities. In this podcast episode titled, “Empire Blazes New Fiber Broadband Path in Upstate NY, Northern Pennsylvania,” VanDelinder explores how Empire Access works to offer improved fiber optic services to often underserved communities.


Empire Access, a regional broadband provider serving large areas of New York and Pennsylvania, provides residents and businesses with rapid enterprise-class WiFi, streaming, TV, phone plans, security, home automation, and more. Headquartered in Prattsburgh, NY, Empire Access operates in markets which usually lack access to such services, outside of the major metropolitan areas, to provide residents with Internet packages up to 1 Gigabit and businesses with Internet up to 10 Gigabits. 

Bob VanDelinder states that Empire Access is proud to be a locally-based, family-run company, and takes pride in being part of the local communities in which it operates. When Empire Access enters a new market, most recently Cortland, NY, it hires local technicians and customer service representatives from those communities to ensure it maintains a local connection.


Bob VanDelinder highlights that today, the Internet is a core service for not only entertainment but critical services, such as telehealth, that require WiFi connectivity. Similarly, at-home work is often only accessible to more densely-populated regions due to the usually high costs of fiber optic Internet. This is also true for businesses, as business Internet, including its speed and security, can significantly improve, or even harm, operations. With affordability and reliability key, Empire Access is dedicated to providing the fastest Internet available to both businesses and residents alike, as the provider was named the “Fastest ISP in the U.S.” by PCMag. 

Because of its work, Empire Access is well-received in its communities. Likewise, reliable fiber optic access makes these communities more attractive to everybody, including long-time, new, and even prospective residents and businesses.


In rural areas, cities and towns primarily rely on older DSL models, as opposed to the innovative fiber optic speed and services enjoyed by major markets. Empire Access, VanDelinder explains, upgrades DSL and adds fiber, which in itself presents challenges because of the long distances, and therefore higher length of cables, between each building. Because networks are very capital-intensive, having a partner such as Antin Infrastructure Partners, which acquired Empire Access January of 2023, is incredibly beneficial to this process.

“Partnering with Antin is a really great opportunity for our company to take that next step in a big way,” VanDelinder states. This partnership has especially helped Empire Access with its recent expansions in Eastern NY and Northern PA, which continue the company’s trend of expansions out of its core in Prattsburgh, NY. With more expansions in the works over the next year, this mixture of partnership with an emphasis on local connection makes Empire Access an exciting prospect in the NY and PA markets.

To listen to the full podcast, visit here.

To learn more about Empire Access, please visit