New Yorkers Encouraged to Visit ny.gov/BroadbandForAll for Information on Transformative Billion-Dollar Program, Largest State Internet Infrastructure Investment in History
Governor’s Administration Taking Message on the Road, Presenting Proposal in Communities across the State
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched #Broadband4All, a campaign to rally support for his New NY Broadband Program proposal, which will ensure that every New Yorker has access to high-speed Internet service by the end of 2018. As part of the campaign, the Governor today unveiled a new website, ny.gov/BroadbandForAll, which provides New Yorkers with more information about the issue and encourages them to become involved. Additionally, members of the Governor’s administration are continuing to visit communities across the state to present the proposal in regions with some of the greatest broadband needs.
“Having powerful Internet access has become a necessity in today’s world, but in communities across the state – both rural and urban – there is a broadband gap that is leaving New Yorkers behind,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is a problem that impacts everything from businesses to hospitals and schools, and we need to make a bold investment to change that and ensure every New Yorker has fast, reliable Internet access. By implementing this proposal we can lay the foundation for a stronger and more competitive New York years into the future, so let’s start making broadband for all a reality this year.”
By implementing this proposal we can lay the foundation for a stronger and more competitive New York years into the future.
“Connecting all New Yorkers to broadband is the single most important step that we can take to ensure New York’s future,” said Rachel Haot, Deputy Secretary for Technology. “Already, Governor Cuomo has committed more to New York’s connectivity infrastructure than any other state in history. The New NY Broadband Program will help us fulfill the greatest infrastructure need of our age, and Governor Cuomo’s visionary plan will ensure New York’s economic, education, health and safety success for not just years but generations to come."
Broadband refers to wide bandwidth data transmission, and this technology enables the fastest, most reliable Internet access service available today. One of the most transformative innovations of the current era, investing in broadband infrastructure is on par with technological breakthroughs such as running water, electricity and the interstate highway system. Broadband is overwhelmingly important to a myriad of tasks in the 21st century, from banking to schoolwork to telemedicine and business operations – yet too many households and organizations across the state lack sufficient access.
Connecting all New Yorkers to broadband is the single most important step that we can take to ensure New York’s future.
In each of the following counties, more than half of the population did not have access to broadband at 25 Mbps as of July 2014:
- Capital District: Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington Counties
- Central New York: Cayuga, Cortland, Madison and Oswego Counties
- Finger Lakes: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wyoming, Wayne and Yates Counties
- Mid-Hudson: Sullivan and Ulster Counties
- Mohawk Valley: Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Schoharie Counties
- North Country: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties
- Southern Tier: Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins Counties
- Western New York: Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties
- Today, 55,000 businesses and more than 5.4 million New Yorkers – more than 25 percent of the State’s population – lack broadband access, defined by the Federal Communications Commission as 25 megabits per second (Mbps).
- More than 2,000 of New York’s public schools report speeds lower than the recommended minimum capacity of 100 Mbps. Nearly 500 public schools have no broadband service at all.
- Internet usage by consumers and businesses has more than tripled on a per user basis over the past five years, and growth is projected to continue.
- In fact, in 2018, the average American Internet household will generate 139 percent more Internet traffic per month compared to today.
- Regardless of industry, broadband is considered responsible for 43 percent of all new jobs created by businesses since 2013.
- Across the United States, the number of Internet users grew from more than 122 million in 2000 to nearly 280 million in 2014. Viewed as a percentage of the national population, Internet users now account for roughly 84 percent of the American people, compared to just 43 percent in 2000.
- Nationwide, the amount of annual e-commerce sales from web-only merchants ballooned from approximately $9.72 billion in 2003 to nearly $106 billion in 2013.
Broadband has changed the world, but today the United States is falling behind on the global stage. Building on Governor Cuomo’s unparalleled commitments to date, New York State must make significant investments in its broadband infrastructure in order to be competitive in education, healthcare, the economy, public safety, communications, tourism and overall quality of life in the immediate term and for generations to come.
The Plan: Universal Broadband Access by the End of 2018
To accomplish this, Governor Cuomo will invest $500 million to jumpstart the New NY Broadband Program utilizing capital funds from bank settlements to incentivize the private sector to expand high-speed broadband access in underserved and unserved areas. Broadband providers and communities will utilize this funding to deliver service in a given area, and must adhere to the following qualifications:
- Matching private-sector investments. Broadband providers will contribute, on average, at least 50 percent of the capital needed, which will push the size of the program above $1 billion. The State’s investment will serve to stimulate competition in the broadband market where none or little exists; improving affordability and quality of service.
- Unprecedented broadband speed. Broadband providers must provide Internet access rates of at least 100 Mbps, with funding priority given to those delivering the highest speeds at the lowest cost. In certain limited cases, providers may offer 25 Mbps rates to the exceptionally remote unserved and underserved areas of the state (more than three times the current standard) scalable to 100 Mbps or more - if this provides the best means of achieving universal broadband access to the region.
- Local input to guide development. Building on the successful Connect NY model, each Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) will submit a comprehensive plan to the State that: 1) identifies unserved and underserved areas; 2) aggregates demand across residential, institutional and business sectors; 3) details the most cost-effective means to provide universal access; and 4) leverages state-owned assets where possible.
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