State Providing $4.2 Million In Grants to Western New York As Part of New NY Broadband Program, With Goal of Broadband for All By 2018
2016-2018 Statewide Broadband Maps Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that more than 434,000 homes in Western New York will have access to high-speed internet as part of the New NY Broadband Initiative. The program’s round one awards will connect more than 30,000 unserved homes and businesses across upstate New York to high-speed internet for the first time. More than $4 million in grants have been awarded to Western New York internet service providers as part of that effort.
In addition, on the heels of its merger with Time Warner Cable, Charter has outlined its four-year rollout plan to service 145,000 currently unserved households in upstate New York. Charter will also make available internet speeds of at least 100 megabits per second for more than 2 million upstate homes and businesses by early 2017. Once completed, these actions will ensure 97 percent of New Yorkers have the broadband access required to succeed in a 21st century economy, with the goal of serving all New Yorkers by the end of 2018.
“Access to high-speed internet is critical to keeping pace with the rising demands of the modern economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “The New NY Broadband Program is advancing our vision for inclusive, interconnected communities that empower individuals, support small businesses, and advance innovation. These actions are a major step forward in creating the most robust broadband infrastructure network in the nation, and ensuring that reliable, high-speed internet is available to all New Yorkers.”
Building on the progress already achieved, the Governor also announced the launch of a Request for Proposals for Round II of the State Broadband Program. The initiative will target a further extension of broadband availability to the most remote areas of the state.
Chair of the Public Service Commission Audrey Zibelman said, "With new authority provided by Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to ensure cable mergers are in the public interest, the Commission secured important conditions from Charter when it approved its acquisition of Time Warner that will result in a faster broadband network and a substantial expansion of its infrastructure to serve an additional 145,000 households. We are pleased to report that Charter is planning to deliver its speed upgrade to 100 Mbps nearly two years earlier than required, and is following through on its build-out commitments. Today's announcement is a major milestone in Governor Cuomo's plan to deliver broadband for all."
Charter Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Catherine Bohigian said, “We are excited to be working with Governor Cuomo and his Administration. Charter is committed to investing in New York to deliver broadband to more unserved homes and to bring faster broadband speeds to the communities we serve. We have already begun delivering on these plans and look forward to bringing product and service enhancements at a greater value to our customers in New York.”
Western New York Round I Award Winners:
- Armstrong Telephone Company - $1,379,927
- Armstrong Telecommunications, Inc. - $2,824,190
New NY Broadband Program Design
The New NY Broadband Program is designed to ensure that New York’s most remote communities receive the high-speed internet they need and deserve. The Program supports the deployment of advanced technologies to achieve the Governor’s goal of providing New Yorkers with access to internet download speeds of at least 100 Mbps in most places, and 25 Mbps in the most remote parts of the state, by the end of 2018. As a result of these speed upgrades, users will be able to download HD movies in 11 minutes -- versus 2.3 hours without broadband -- and credit card transactions will be processed five times faster.
Award recipients were selected through a “reverse-auction” methodology, which prioritizes bidders seeking the lowest amount of state investment per new household served. In order to avoid cost duplication, the Charter footprint was excluded from Round I. This exclusion enabled the New York State Broadband Program Office to operate with a highly targeted scope and design an innovative auction process across the state, while preserving state funds.
Round II of the Program, which is launching today, will address additional unserved and underserved homes and businesses. Round II Request for Proposal Guidelines and application questions are now available on the New York State BPO’s website.
The third and final phase of the New NY Broadband Program is scheduled to launch in early 2017, which will close out any remaining unaddressed service areas. Each RFP will contain refinements and enhancements that will enable the BPO to push further into unserved territory. Through the cumulative process of these three RFPs, the state is achieving its ultimate goal of broadband for all.
Senator Tim Kennedy said, “In today's globally competitive economy, access to high-speed internet should be a right, not a luxury. It is as vital to our communities as the road and bridges we rely on to get to and from work. For too long, far too many communities across the state have been left in the dark, with limited access to high speed internet. By investing in this initiative, Governor Cuomo is investing in the future of our schools, businesses and every New Yorker. I thank him for his commitment to ensuring that no community is left behind and I am proud to see this investment deliver tangible results for the people of Western New York.”
Assemblyman John Ceretto said, “Governor Cuomo’s actions to provide broadband access to all will not only modernize the state, but will also enable unparalleled economic growth and innovation. Communities in Western New York often have difficulty keeping pace with our modern economy due to their lack of broadband access. With the help of the New NY Broadband Program, such areas will receive their much needed high-speed Internet access and be well-equipped to compete in our modern times.”
Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “The recent shift in our technology sector has greatly increased the demand for high speed internet access. By equipping our schools, businesses and institutions with broadband, we are giving our communities the technology necessary to generate economic opportunity and ensure they remain competitive in the global economy. This announcement is the product of state and local government coming together to provide much-needed developments in Erie County, and I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo to build on this progress.”
Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “Ensuring that all Buffalo residents have access to affordable, high-speed Internet is among my administration’s top priorities, and a key strategy in continuing to grow Buffalo as a City of opportunity where all people can benefit from our rising economic prosperity. I thank Governor Cuomo for moving forward on our shared belief that by investing in Buffalo, Western New York and in cities across New York, we can improve our quality of life, advance economic opportunity and ensure a brighter future for all of our citizens. Governor Cuomo’s ‘Broadband for All’ plan will double internet speeds for Buffalo residents and residents across New York…and make certain that those who have been left behind have the tools they need to succeed in the 21st century.”
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