New York Power Authority Transmission System Enables Access to High-Speed Internet for More Than 2,000 Residents and Businesses in the Village of Sherburne and Town of Nichols
View Video of ConnectALL and Sherburne's Progress Here
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced completion of New York's first ever municipal broadband network as a major milestone for the state's ConnectALL program. The network is the first phase of the ConnectALL 21st Century Municipal Infrastructure pilot program, which began in May using fiber optic infrastructure on the New York Power Authority's existing transmission system and is ahead of schedule due to NYPA and the Village of Sherburne and Town of Nichols optimizing implementation plans.
"Broadband connectivity has become as vital a service as electricity and water and New York State is determined to make sure that no citizen is without access," Governor Hochul said. "The collaboration among our federal, state and non-profit partners has been critical to the ConnectALL program's rapid progress and deployment and we are looking ahead to expanding the program even further in the new year."
The $10 million, four-municipality pilot project has completed construction enabling reliable, high-speed internet access to more than 2,000 previously unserved or underserved households and business customers. In addition to the completed network in the Village of Sherburne, Chenango County, construction is rapidly progressing in the Town of Nichols, Tioga County. The pilot program, which kicked off in May, is part of the $1 billion ConnectALL initiative, announced in Governor Hochul's 2022 State of the State address—the largest public investment in broadband in the state's history that aims to transform New York's digital infrastructure and expand broadband access, affordability and equity statewide using public and private investments.
In addition to the Village of Sherburne and the Town of Nichols, the pilot program is building fiber optic infrastructure in the Town of Diana in Lewis County and the Town of Pitcairn in St. Lawrence County.
NYPA is managing the broadband deployment in the four locations leveraging its existing fiber optic infrastructure for the "middle mile," as authorized by the state legislature in April. Sherburne Electric, Development Authority of the North Country, and Southern Tier Network are partnering on the last mile broadband infrastructure. Private internet service providers are using the public infrastructure to deliver internet service to residents. The new customers in Sherburne are paying approximately $40 per month for service, well below the average price for broadband in Chenango County, based on the Department of Public Service's Regional 2022 Survey of Internet Service Pricing.
New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, "As a public utility, NYPA's transmission network is serving double duty helping to improve access to broadband service to remote communities in New York while delivering energy. We are working with our customers, state partners and broadband providers across the state to help bridge the digital divide and create greater equality among urban and rural communities. I am extremely proud of the progress New York is making on the delivery of this essential service and of NYPA's integral role in this innovative program."
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "It is essential that we work together to close the remaining digital gaps, especially in the rural areas of the State. Connecting all New Yorkers to reliable and affordable internet requires innovative solutions and this pilot program is one way we are working with our government partners on every level to get the job done."
Today's announcement continues the progress of the ConnectALL Office, including:
New York's First Funding Awards under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
New York State's ConnectALL office has been awarded $7.2 million through the U.S. Department of Commerce's Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment and Digital Equity Act programs. Over the coming months, ConnectALL will use these funds to engage New Yorkers across the state to produce comprehensive statewide broadband deployment and digital equity plans. These plans will provide the roadmap for the state's utilization of state and federal funds to close New York State's remaining digital divide.
Launching the Broadband Assessment Program and Interactive Broadband Map
ConnectALL is mobilizing state resources, local and regional government partners, and the public to challenge inaccuracies in the Federal Communication Commission's National Broadband Map, which will inform the state's final allocation of funding from IIJA. ConnectALL recently submitted a challenge of more than 31,000 New York addresses that were not included in the federal map, drawing on data from the state's first ever, in-depth, interactive broadband map produced by the Department of Public Service.
Promotion of the Affordable Connectivity Program Consumer Broadband Subsidy
Governor Hochul recently announced that over 1 million New York households have subscribed to the program, thanks in large part to an ongoing, multi-agency and grassroots effort to build awareness of the opportunity for a $30-a-month broadband subsidy for low-income households.
For more information and updates on ConnectALL, please visit www.broadband.ny.gov.
Village of Sherburne Mayor William Acee said, "We are so pleased to provide a state-of-the-art fiber optic network to our customers that will allow the village to control & monitor electric loads and at the same time provide Open Access to Internet Service Providers for all our electric customers. Timing could not have been better for entry into Governor Hochul's ConnectALL Program. This investment in fiber infrastructure will benefit Sherburne in the same way as did the electric system in 1905."
State Senator Peter Oberacker said, "Reliable, affordable, accessible high-speed broadband is vital for economic development, emergency services, education, and quality of life. Utilizing the New York Power Authority's infrastructure to help bring vital services to rural areas is a winning blueprint, demonstrating the importance of collaboration when it comes to growing broadband access. Continuing to expand and close the digital divide must be a top priority moving forward."
Assemblymember John Lemondes said, "The completion of the first phase of ConnectALL' s broadband expansion project is a great way to cap off the year. I'm grateful to the engineers and organizers of the endeavor for pushing for further affordable broadband throughout Central New York and will continue to sit with my neighbors as we eagerly anticipate the connection to the remaining municipalities. Broadband is becoming more of a necessity with each passing day, and New York is making great strides to provide it for everyone."
Jeffery Gasper, President and CEO Southern Tier Network, said, "In partnership with Tioga County, Nichols, NY, and Fiberspark our initial ISP on the STN open-access fiber to the home network, STN is providing broadband services to the unserved and underserved residents and businesses in Nichols, NY. The success of the project in Nichols, NY is a blueprint for STN to proliferate the open-access broadband network in additional areas in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes areas of New York State through our partnership with NYPA and the ConnectALL office."
Supervisor Esther Woods, Town of Nichols, said, "First we would like to thank Governor Kathy Hochul for the grant money to provide our community with high-speed Internet. Our community has come together and we are very happy to be provided this opportunity to support virtual school lessons and people continuing to working from home. This is a huge asset to us. We feel we are finally in the 21st century. We want to thank all the people involved with this project; it's greatly appreciated."
Carl E. Farone, Jr., Executive Director of the Development Authority of the North Country said, "The Development Authority is excited to work in collaboration with NYPA to use publicly owned infrastructure to provide broadband internet service to residents in the towns of Pitcairn and Diana under the ConnectALL program. This is an important project to that will bring affordable broadband infrastructure to unserved residents."
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