New York Power Authority to Leverage Existing Communications Infrastructure for Broadband Deployment in Village of Sherburne, Chenango County
Three Additional Towns Targeted for ConnectALL Pilot Initiative: Nichols in Tioga County, the Town of Diana in Lewis County, and the Town of Pitcairn in St. Lawrence County
Pilot Initiative Part of the Governor’s More Than $1 Billion ConnectALL Initiative — the Largest Ever Investment in New York's 21st Century Digital Infrastructure
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of a ConnectALL four-county model project to bring affordable broadband internet access to more New Yorkers living in rural areas. The Village of Sherburne in Chenango County, the Town of Nichols in Tioga County, the Town of Diana in Lewis County, and the Town of Pitcairn in St. Lawrence County are the initial municipalities to benefit from this first deployment, through the Governor’s $1 Billion ConnectALL initiative. The largest ever investment in New York's 21st century digital infrastructure, ConnectALL aims to transform New York’s digital infrastructure and expand broadband access, affordability and equity statewide using more than $1 billion in public and private investments. Representatives from the New York Power Authority and Empire State Development, along with Sherburne Mayor William Acee and other collaborators, joined today to formally kick-off the model project in the Village of Sherburne.
“The past two years have reminded New Yorkers of how crucial reliable and affordable broadband is, so we can stay connected to family, work, school and healthcare services, as many were forced to work and attend school remotely, and deep crevices in New York’s digital landscape were exposed,” Governor Hochul said. “Broadband internet access is every bit as important to daily life as heat, water and electricity, and ConnectALL aims to create a new digital landscape for New York by building secure and affordable broadband connections in every corner of the state. Investment in this vital public infrastructure will not only strengthen the progress of our State's initial investment, it will boost economic growth and local innovation far into the future.”
New York’s new ConnectALL program is investing $10 million to target areas where existing state-owned fiber can create a fiber bridge between large data centers (first mile) and individual homes (last mile), primarily in rural areas that are not serviced by private broadband providers. Working with partners in the non-profit community and New York State government, including ESD, the Development Authority of the North Country and the Southern Tier Network, NYPA will manage the initial broadband deployment in these four select counties by leveraging existing state-owned networks to connect fiber over the “middle mile” to more than 2,000 homes and businesses.
The statewide ConnectALL initiative includes grant programs to provide funding to local municipalities and other entities to plan, engineer, and construct accessible broadband infrastructure, a rural deployment program to extend broadband networks to unserved and underserved homes and businesses, a digital equity program to ensure equitable access to broadband statewide, and other innovative programs.
In the Village of Sherburne, NYPA will be working with Sherburne Electric, a NYPA municipal electricity customer, to use NYPA’s existing transmission system cable fiber for the ‘middle mile,’ and assist the village and municipality in the design, engineering and build-out of fiber networks to the village’s 1,800 homes and businesses. The project is expected to conclude by year’s end. Once completed, the broadband connection will be managed by a third-party internet service provider at nominal cost.
New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “Broadband internet connectivity enables New Yorkers to have equitable access to information as well as goods and services. Using the Power Authority’s transmission network to help connect more New Yorkers to broadband is a winning statewide strategy that allows us to maximize the use of our equipment, share our technical expertise and strengthen our customer relationships all to benefit more New Yorkers, specifically those living and working in some of the most remote areas of our great state.”
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Ensuring that every New Yorker has access to affordable and reliable broadband is essential and will require innovative, community-led solutions. This new pilot within Governor Hochul’s ConnectALL initiative is truly ground-breaking, leveraging the State’s existing digital infrastructure in new ways to directly benefit New Yorkers. The Village of Sherburne and other municipalities participating in this pilot should be commended for their leadership in expanding broadband access and affordability so that all their residents can participate and thrive in our connected society.”
State Senator Peter Oberacker said, “Reliable, affordable, accessible high-speed broadband is vital for economic development, emergency services, education, and quality of life. Repealing the fiber optic tax in the state budget and now moving forward with the ConnectALL initiative will bring more people online and help close the digital divide.”
Assemblymember John Lemondes said, “The work to expand broadband is intense and resource-consuming, which is why it is so reassuring to see initiatives like ConnectALL push for further expansion into all areas of New York. Broadband has become essential to everyday life, and all New Yorkers deserve to be served by its benefits. And with programs like these, we have a great start on bringing reliable broadband across all of New York.”
Village of Sherburne Mayor William Acee said, “The is a banner day for Sherburne Electric customers. The prospect of having broadband internet access available to all of Sherburne’s residents and businesses is the modern-day equivalent of the arrival of the railroad. New, affordable broadband internet access will symbolically expand the boundaries of our community, and help forge deeper connections between Sherburne, and the world beyond. I am very grateful to Governor Hochul, New York State and the Power Authority for working to make this project a reality.”
Southern Tier Network President and CEO Steve Manning said, “New York State ConnectALL and the New York Power Authority have created a vision for creating effective, municipal focused, long-term fiber to the home solutions that will address the broadband needs of the State’s unserved and underserved households for years to come. This coordinated plan strategically aligns non-profit, municipally focused fiber optic telecommunication organizations like the Southern Tier Network, Development Authority of the North Country, and Sherburn Electric Coop with NYPA and New York State ConnectALL office to creatively leverage their collective assets and resources for ultra-high-speed broad band infrastructures to serve these residents who have desperately needed a quality, reliable, and affordable internet service for years. New York State is one of the first governmental agencies that I know of in the Country with the courage to plan for bringing competitive broadband services into markets controlled by a single for-profit Service Provider.”
Development Authority of the North Country Executive Director Carl E. Farone, Jr. said, “This strategic partnership between the Development Authority and the New York Power Authority is a positive step forward in expanding broadband in the North Country. Helping to bring broadband to underserved locations in our service area has been a priority of the Development Authority and this pilot project in St. Lawrence and Lewis counties will help us move forward in meeting both our goal and the goal of Governor’s Hochul’s ConnectALL initiative.”
For more information about ConnectALL, visit: https://broadband.ny.gov/
NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov