Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that New York State will award $25 million in funding to expand high-speed Internet access in rural upstate and underserved urban areas of New York through the Connect NY Broadband Grant Program, including several projects that will affect the Adirondacks. This newest round of funding brings the total amount for broadband projects during Governor Cuomo’s administration to more than $56 million, the largest statewide broadband funding commitment in the nation, according to the Governor’s office.
Eighteen broadband projects were selected to receive Connect NY Broadband grants based on the endorsement of the Regional Economic Development Councils and technical scores awarded by a committee who analyzed and ranked projects competing for the $25 million in broadband funding. In December, Governor Cuomo also awarded nearly $6 million in funding, from Round 2 of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative, to four project sponsors who will expand high-speed Internet into the North Country region.
According to a statement issued by the Governor, “Together, these projects will build approximately 6,000 square miles of new infrastructure and will provide high-speed Internet service to 153,000 New York households, 8,000 businesses, and 400 community anchor institutions – many without any means to access the Internet. In addition to the vast economic benefits derived from broadband access, the projects being funded by Connect NY will create 1,400 new jobs. Most of the funding will be for the “last-mile” of broadband service, which means the projects will provide high speed Internet connections directly to New Yorkers. The last mile is the most expensive portion of a broadband network, and often prevents many rural residents from receiving broadband service, even when service is available to nearby homes.”
The Connect NY program was designed to leverage existing networks which have been built by incumbent broadband providers, through private investments, other state and federal funding sources. An important component to the selection of projects was avoiding “overbuilds,” ensuring project strategies leveraged existing network assets and requiring a comprehensive strategy to utilize broadband after projects were completed the Governor’s press statement said.
The $25 million in state funding is expected to be combined with a private sector investment for each broadband project, increasing the total statewide investment to more than $32 million. Governor Cuomo announced the $25 million Connect NY grant program in August. More than $89 million in broadband applications were submitted through New York State’s consolidated funding application (CFA), which was created to give businesses and other entities streamlined and expedited access to economic development funding. The broadband projects selected as Connect NY grant recipients in the Adirondack region include:
$200,000 Connect Thurman White Space Project
This project with Warren County Economic Development Corporation will serve the Capital District region. Through a public/private partnership, the Thurman White Space project will provide broadband access to 89 households in the northeast area of the Town of Thurman. The Town of Thurman will also offer economically disadvantaged residents access to public computers and enhanced digital literacy training.
$557,000 Essex County Broadband Service Expansion
This project will serve the North Country region. The Essex County Broadband Service Expansion project will provide high-speed broadband service to households that do not have access within the Towns of Jay and Wilmington, passing 1,900 households. The project will also provide digital video services and potentially a competitive telephone service.
$572,000 Hamilton and Herkimer Counties Broadband
The Broadband 1 project with Newport Telephone Company is a multi-region project serving the North Country and Mohawk Valley regions. The project will leverage existing infrastructure to provide broadband service to 230 residents, businesses and community anchor institutions in Hamilton and Herkimer Counties. The project will also enhance emergency services for both counties.
$976,426 Lyon Mountain Broadband
This project with Slic Network Solutions will serve the North Country region. The Lyon Mountain Broadband Project will provide high-speed, low-cost broadband service in the Community of Lyon Mountain to 527 households, utilizing fiber-to-the-home technology. In addition this network will also deliver telephone service, IPTV service, and advance business services over the fiber.
$1,012,366 Bellmont North Next Generation Broadband
This project with Slic Network Solutions will serve the North Country region. The Bellmont North Next Generation Broadband project will provide high-speed, low-cost broadband service in the Adirondack Park to the northern end of the Town of Bellmont. This service will be delivered utilizing 25.3 miles of fiber to the home and wireless technology to connect 124 households. The network will also allow for the delivery of telephone service, IPTV service, and advance business services over the fiber.
$2,042,177 Connecting the Capital Region
Hudson Valley Wireless will provide high-speed fixed wireless broadband access to nearly 40,000 households and 2,000 businesses that currently do not have access in Washington and Rensselaer Counties. In addition, the network will enhance public safety operations in the region by enabling redundancy of public safety communications and by allowing municipalities to use a portion of the bandwidth at no cost.
$2,162,656 Schroon Lake Next Generation Broadband
This project with Slic Network Solutions will serve the North Country region. Slic Networks Solutions will provide high-speed, low-cost broadband service to 457 households in the unserved areas of the Town of Schroon and the Town of North Hudson. This service will be delivered utilizing fiber to the home technology. Slic will also provide wireless hot spots for frequently visited public locations including the public beach in Schroon Lake.
$5,266,979 Statewide Broadband Expansion
The Statewide Broadband Expansion Project is a statewide project serving 9 regions. Time Warner Cable will deploy robust high-speed Internet service to 4,114 households in the Capital, Central, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, NYC, North Country, Southern Tier and Western regions of New York State. The project will also provide residents with access to digital TV, telephone services and security services.