Statement from NYSTA President Craig J. Miller


ALBANY, NEW YORK (January 11, 2024)- NYSTA, the New York State Telecommunications Association, whose members provide Broadband, Video, and Telephony services throughout New York State and serve urban, suburban, and rural customers are pleased by the today’s legislative action to extend the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).  The federal legislation by Senators Welch (Welch (D-VT), Vance (R-OH), Rosen (D-NV), and Cramer (R-ND) and Representatives Clarke (D-NY) and Fitzpatrick (R-PA) would extend funding for the ACP program through the end of 2024.

“Currently, over 1.5 million New York families depend on the Affordable Connectivity Plan to assist them in paying for internet services that they rely on every day,” said Craig J. Miller, President of the New York State Telecommunications Association.  “Without federal action, the program will run out of funds in the next few months and could end Broadband access to over 1.5 million New York customers. This disruption would also have an immediate negative impact to our successful efforts in closing the Digital Divide in New York State. We urge Congress to pass this legislation.”


How to Apply to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) Video

Consumers who would like to take advantage of a federal program to help pay for your Broadband costs, please take a peek at this video from the FCC on how to apply for this program.


The New York State Telecommunications Association (NYSTA) understands the importance of broadband access for all individuals, families, and businesses to facilitate education, create work opportunities, and promote economic growth for all New Yorkers.

NYSTA member companies are embedded in their communities and play a key role in their community’s health and vibrancy. Our members participate in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
to assist over 1 million New Yorkers to help pay for Internet service.

New Mid-Hudson Region Area Code Takes Effect

For Immediate Release: 03/17/23 Rory M. Christian, Chair


James Denn | | (518) 474-7080

New Mid-Hudson Region Area Code Takes Effect

23031 / 21-C-0600

New 329 Area Code for Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester Counties

Need for New Area Code Signals Strong Regional Economic Demand

ALBANY The New York State Department of Public Service (Department) announced today that beginning March 24, 2023, customers in the 845-area code region requesting new mobile or landline telephone service, an additional line, or a move in the location of their service, may be assigned a number in the new 329-area code. The new area code will provide additional much-needed phone numbers for residents and businesses in the existing 845-area code region.

As a result of a strong demand for telecommunication services in the Hudson Valley and Catskills regions due to economic growth, the New York State Public Service Commission in early 2022 approved a new area code for the area served by 845 using an area code overlay. An overlay occurs when multiple area codes serve the same geographical area.

With the addition of the new area code, the region is now well-positioned to accommodate continued economic growth and growing consumer demand for telephone service. The new 329-area code will be superimposed over the same geographical area as the existing 845-area code. The 845-area code serves all or parts of Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties, and includes the cities of Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Newburgh and the towns of Haverstraw, Woodstock, and Ramapo.

The area code overlay requires consumers to continue to dial 10 digits for local calls (area code + 7- digit telephone number) in the 845/329 area or 1+10 digits for calls to other area code regions.

Customers in the 845-area code have already been completing local calls by dialing 10 digits since the July 16, 2022, national implementation of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Important facts that consumers and businesses need to know about the 329-area code overlay are:

  • Current telephone numbers, including current area code, will not change;
  • All calls within and between 845/329 must be dialed with 10 digits;
  • Consumers will continue to dial 1+ area code + telephone number for all calls to other area codes;
  • What is a local call will continue to remain a local call;
  • The price of a call, and the price of other telephone services, will not change due to the new overlay area code;
  • Calls to reach 911 Emergency Service will remain three digits;
  • If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711, or 811 services are currently available in the community, consumers will still dial these codes with just three digits; and
  • Numbers in the 329-area code will not be available for assignment until remaining numbers in the 845-area code are exhausted.

Customers should ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, or other types of equipment recognize the new 329-area code as a valid area code. Some examples include life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions.

Business stationery, advertising materials, personal checks, and personal or pet ID tags should be updated as necessary to ensure each includes the 329-area code. All automatically dialed calls within the 845/329 area must be programmed to dial using 10-digits and the digit prefix “1” must be included for all calls to other area codes.

Documents regarding this proceeding may obtained by going to the Search section of the Commission’s Web site at, under ‘Commission Files’, and entering Case Number 21-C-0600 in the input box labeled “Search by Case Number”. Many libraries offer free Internet access. Commission documents may also be obtained from the Commission’s Files Office, 14th floor, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223 (518-474-2500). If you have difficulty understanding English, please call us at 1-800-342-3377 for free language assistance services regarding this press release. For more information, you may also visit your service provider’s website.

Northland Communications introduces the BU (Business Unlimited) Connector.

Northland Communications Debuts New Feature that Combines Company’s Powerful Cloud-Based Collaboration Solution with Microsoft Teams

A free webinar with an overview and demo is scheduled for April 19th.

[Syracuse, NY, March 6, 2023] Northland Communications, a Central New York-based telecommunications provider, is debuting a brand-new feature; the BU (Business Unlimited) Connector.

Northland’s cloud-based collaboration solution, Business Unlimited, now integrates with Microsoft Teams, giving customers the ability to sync the powerful UCaaS (unified communications as a service) product as their go-to voice solution directly in Teams.

Business customers can increase their productivity with Microsoft Teams by making calls both internally and externally right from Teams using their Business Unlimited Subscriber. Customers can also streamline their efficiency by accessing voicemails and having the ability to save them to desktop folders directly from Teams.

Additionally, the BU Connector is intuitive, easy to download, and comes at no additional cost to the customer. It is a significant value add and allows customers to collaborate, chat, source, network, and share files, in a one-click solution.

“Our continued advancement and strategic partnership aiming to build quality connections between your team and customers, has yet again evolved,” said Stephany VanDyke, product line manager, Northland Communications. “Business Unlimited already gives users numerous advantages, simplicities, and benefits that make the platform a leading solution in the market. The BU Connector feature is the ‘cherry on top’ to the already scalable solution.”

Northland Communications will be hosting a free webinar on Wednesday, April 19th at Noon to give customers an overview of the BU Connector as well as a demo of how it works. To register for the webinar, visit:

Northland Communications announces new Distributed Denial-of-Service Protection

Local telecommunications company adds a significant part to its enterprise security threat landscape

[Syracuse, NY, February 27, 2023] Northland Communications, a Central New York-based telecommunications provider, announced extended security and protection to its dedicated internet to offset distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

DDoS mitigation is the process of protecting a target from a distributed denial-of service attack. A DDoS attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service, or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of internet traffic. A DDoS attack on a company’s website, web application, APIs, network, or data center infrastructure can cause downtime and prevent legitimate users from buying products, using a service, getting information, or any other access.

“Business growth means more connected devices to your network, and more bandwidth to accommodate users. It also opens the door to increased risk, where attackers move in with sophisticated DDoS attacks,” said Stephany VanDyke, product line manager, Northland Communications. “Being well prepared and implementing consistent and stringent measures to mitigate attacks is key to limiting and negating the potential business impact of us and our customers.”

Northland Communications has invested in the DDoS mitigation across its fiber network. This service helps keep its customers connected with a 99.999% uptime by its live monitoring systems to alert potential attacks. All of Northland’s existing internet customers and any customer who begins to utilize our service will be receiving complimentary DDoS attack protection up to 1GB (which accounts for 76% of all attacks) through December 31, 2023.

To learn more about DDoS mitigation services or seek additional coverage if you’re an existing dedicated internet service customer, please contact Northland Communications at 315-622-2216 or visit

NYSTA 100th Annual Conference One For the Record Books

What began with the first NYSTA Annual Conference held in Albany in 1922 reached the 100 year milestone recently at the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga Springs. While, the number of companies represented was down from the original thousand telecom companies serving individual villages and towns back in 1922, the industry was well represented.

The program addressed a variety of subjects, including both state and federal regulatory and legislative updates, 5G technology, Quantum computing, and the many amazing things being accomplished with Drone technology. Participants also heard the amazing story of Alan Mallory and his family’s adventure in climbing Mt. Everest and how lessons learned apply equally in the business world.

Special guests included Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association and Jonathan Spalter, President and CEO of US TELCOM -The Broadband Association, who provided updates on the many federal activities addressing voice and broadband services and the challenges that lie ahead for the industry.

Congressperson Raises Concerns On State DOT Fiber Optic Fee

After leading the nation in adopting policies that support Broadband deployment with its New NY Broadband Grant Program, NY reversed course in 2019 with the adoption of a new Right of Way fee (think tax) for placing fiber optic cable along State roads. Revenues to be generated by the fee have been estimated as high as $1 billion. Along with the new fee, DOT also now requires Fiber Optic providers to complete ROW boundary line surveys at a cost of $5,000-$10,000 per mile. No other utilities operating in the ROW’s are subject to the new tax or survey requirements. As noted by several upstate legislators in 2020, “[t]his fee does nothing more than disincentivize the expansion of rural broadband and is nothing more than a roadblock for rural broadband expansion.”

Now, U.S. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, from the 21st Congressional District, has called for FCC action against the policy calling it a barrier to closing the digital divide as well as being discriminatory and contrary to federal law (Link). NYSTA applauds the action taken by Congresswoman Stefanik for her recognition of the harm New York’s Fiber Tax is having on closing the digital divide and ultimately the harm this will cause to New Yorkers seeking expanded broadband access.

NYSTA Announces New President

Craig J. Miller has been named NYSTA’s new President to replace Robert Puckett, who has retired after 34 years of service to the organization, the last 21 years as President. Craig joins NYSTA effective January 3, 2022

Formerly with New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E), Craig has extensive experience in lobbying, legislative affairs, government relations, crisis communications, and strategic public policy with nearly thirty years of service. For the past eight years, Craig served as State Manager of State Government Affairs for NYSEG and RG&E. Prior to NYSEG and RG&E, he was responsible for leading the lobbying and legislative activities in New York State for Frontier Communications. Craig also spent nearly 20 years in the New York State Senate, including as Chief of Staff to former New York State Senator Dale M. Volker. A graduate of Syracuse University, with a B.A. in Russian Language and Literature, with a focus on International Relations, he and his wife Julie reside in Delmar, New York with their two sons.