$170M Secured To Help Expand Broadband Across Upstate NYPosted: Updated:
More than $170 million in federal funds that could have been sent to other states will be returned to upstate New York to expand broadband and high speed internet service.
The announcement was made Thursday by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Congressman Chris Collins.
Several telecommunications companies are using federal investment from the Connect America Fund to expand broadband Upstate, but one national carrier did not accept the money it was allocated.
The Federal Communications Commission wanted to take this unused money from New York and bid it out nationally.
For nearly a year, Governor Cuomo, Senator Schumer and Congressman Collins demanded the FCC reverse course and keep money designated for New York in New York and allow other companies to use these funds to improve broadband access across the state.
These federal funds would complement the $500 million New NY Broadband Program announced by Governor Cuomo in 2015.
New York state has proposed to the FCC the alignment of this $170 million with the New NY Broadband Program in order to provide service that is better, faster and cheaper to residents in need.
This CAF money will be used in conjunction with existing state resources to fund certain areas of Round 3 of the New NY Broadband Program, which will bring high-speed internet services to New York’s most unserved rural areas.
The federal funding is contingent upon the state’s current investments and reaffirms New York’s commitment to broadband expansion.
The $500 million New NY York Broadband Program, which provides funding for high-speed internet access to unserved and underserved areas across the state, is the largest and most ambitious state investment in broadband in the nation.
The New NY Broadband Program sets as its goal access to speeds of 100 Mbps for all New Yorkers with 25 Mbps acceptable in the most remote and rural areas.
This goal exceeds the 10 Mbps requirement of the CAF program and also requires that projects be completed on a more accelerated timeline.
Many Upstate New York homes do not meet New York’s enhanced goal of 100 Mbps nor the FCC’s broadband benchmark speeds of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads.