20,211 Homes and Businesses to Gain Access to High-Speed Broadband
Reaches Governor's Goal of Providing Broadband Access to All New Yorkers
Round III Awards and Census Block Data Are Available Here
Searchable County and Municipal Award Information Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $32.6 million in New NY Broadband Program Round III grants have been awarded in Western NY. The awards will drive more than $57.3 million of public-private broadband investment and provide 20,211 homes and other locations in the region with access to high-speed internet. The grants were awarded as part of the third and final round of the program, fulfilling the Governor's promise to connect all New Yorkers to high-speed internet for the first time in state history.
"Access to high-speed internet has never been more important for New York residents and businesses," Governor Cuomo said. "By leveraging state investments with private and federal funding, we are building a stronger, smarter and more competitive New York poised to lead the nation as the first state to achieve total connectivity."
In total, five awarded projects will address unserved territories in Western NY. Nearly 1,600 miles of broadband infrastructure will be deployed, providing residents and companies across the region with access to new economic opportunities. When the New NY Broadband Program was launched in 2015, 71 percent of Western NY residents - over 464,000 homes - lacked access to broadband.
The regional awards announced today are part of the total $225.5 million in New NY Broadband Program Round III grants. This state investment will drive a Round III total of $385.5 million in broadband infrastructure and support connections for nearly 129,000 locations. These awards include the Round III funds previously announced, plus an additional $15.8 million in grants the state has awarded to complete the program funding.
Top Western NY Towns Benefitting from Round III Broadband Buildout
Niagara Falls (City)
Round III Awards in Western NY
Private & Federal Commitment
Armstrong Telecommunications, Inc.
Hughes Network Systems, LLC
Windstream New York
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The New NY Broadband Program is the first to achieve statewide connectivity, ensuring that all residents and businesses have access to high-speed Internet service. The public-private investments through all three rounds of this program will support new economic growth and job creation efforts across the region and throughout the state."
Empire State Development EVP of Innovation & Broadband Jeffrey Nordhaus said, "We congratulate the winners of Round III and are pleased to announce more than 40 new public-private partnerships that will bring high-quality, high-speed broadband access to each and every unserved portion of the state. This achieves the Governor's ambitious goal of statewide broadband for all, and makes New York the first to achieve total connectivity nationwide."
Congressman Brian Higgins said, "In today's interconnected society and economy, broadband access opens doors to information, education and growth. These investments will make strides in closing the digital divide, provide tools for business opportunity and lift up our communities."
When the New NY Broadband Program was launched in 2015, 30 percent of New Yorkers - approximately 2.42 million locations - lacked access to broadband. This was most acute in the eight Upstate Regional Economic Development Council regions, where only 35 percent of New Yorkers had access. As a result of the Program's Round I awards and additional state-secured upgrades, broadband access was expanded by more than 2.2 million locations to 97 percent of New Yorkers. Round II awards then extended coverage to more than 80,000 locations to 98 percent of New Yorkers. Today, with the announcement of Round III awards, the Program accomplishes its mission of statewide broadband availability, providing the last mile funding to ensure all New Yorkers have access to high-speed internet by the end of 2018.
The program's goal was to achieve statewide access to internet download speeds of at least 100 Megabits per second and 25 Megabits per second in the most rural and remote areas. After full implementation of the commitments announced, 99.9 percent of New Yorkers will have access to high-speed broadband - with almost 99 percent at speeds of 100 Megabits per second or greater. Consistent with the program's prioritization of unserved areas, of the broadband funds deployed, nearly 90 percent of all funding was awarded to projects that will address unserved areas of the state, connecting these locations for the first time.
Across Rounds I, II and III, the Broadband Program Office has now awarded 123 projects through public-private partnerships with 34 companies. These projects will deploy broadband across nine REDC regions, addressing unserved and underserved areas in every upstate county, as well as Long Island. In total, these projects address more than 254,000 locations and will deploy more than 21,000 miles of fiber.
Federal Communications Commission
In Round III, certain funded projects will also leverage up to $170 million in additional support from the federal Connect America Fund. These CAF funds were recommitted to New York State by the FCC as the result of efforts by Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development, and New York State Congressional representatives. The federal funds would potentially have been diverted to other states, but will now remain in New York.
The CAF funds were offered by the FCC directly to Verizon Communications in 2015 to connect unserved locations throughout New York. Verizon declined that offer of support. However, as a result of Governor Cuomo's broadband initiative and New York State's partnership with the FCC, Verizon will once again be deploying new high-speed broadband service to unserved areas of the state.
As a result of the Program's competitive Round III process, Verizon will receive awards driving $148 million in new statewide broadband investment, including $85.3 million in state funding, $18.5 million in CAF support and nearly $45 million in private financing. These projects will deliver fiber networks to 18,314 locations across Upstate New York, including 7,767 in CAF-eligible territories. This includes previously announced amounts - plus an additional newly-announced 2,799 locations within CAF-eligible territories. Although Verizon's auction-winning bid for these additional homes was initially deemed too costly, New York State successfully negotiated with Verizon to award the project at a lower cost. These additional homes have been added to Verizon's award and will now receive high-quality broadband service.
In total, 11 companies are expected to receive more than $66 million in CAF support, to address 47,735 locations across the state. New York State supports public-private partnerships with broadband providers of all sizes, from family-owned telephone companies to nationally recognized telecommunications firms.