Funding Will Be Awarded to New York in 2024-25 to Bring Broadband Infrastructure to Unserved and Underserved Locations Across the State
Empire State Development’s ConnectALL Office is Currently Developing Plans for Broadband and Digital Equity Based on Unprecedented Public Input
Governor Kathy Hochul, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and the New York Congressional Delegation today announced New York State’s ConnectALL Office has been allocated more than $664 million in funding from the federal Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program, part of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The BEAD allocation is the largest single investment in the ConnectALL program and will be used primarily for providing fiber optic infrastructure to locations in New York that currently have no broadband service.
“This transformative investment in New York’s ConnectALL program will be a gamechanger in advancing our statewide strategy to make affordable, high-speed internet available to all,” Governor Hochul said. “In today’s economy, reliable broadband access is an absolute necessity, and I thank the Biden administration, Majority Leader Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and New York’s congressional delegation for continuing to prioritize critical infrastructure needs and for supporting our mission to expand broadband to every corner of our state.”
The $1+ billion ConnectALL initiative, announced by Governor Hochul in her January 2022 State of the State Address, is New York State's largest-ever public investment in broadband, aimed at transforming the state's digital infrastructure to connect all New Yorkers to the internet. In addition to funding to reach unserved and underserved locations, ConnectALL includes grant programs to invest in public broadband infrastructure, to upgrade service to affordable and public housing, and to support digital inclusion and education on using the internet.
New York will submit an initial grant distribution proposal to President Biden’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA). Following approval of the initial proposal, the ConnectALL Office will solicit applications from internet service providers to build new broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas of the state. That package of applications will be included in New York’s final proposal to NTIA, after which the state will receive its full BEAD allocation to issue grant awards.
The BEAD allocation follows a $100 million award from the Treasury Department’s Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund announced by the Governor in May and two planning grants totaling over $7 million announced in December.
The BEAD allocation is based largely on New York’s portion of the nation’s unserved locations, as reported by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC’s map originally showed New York had 106,290 unserved locations. In October 2022, Governor Hochul issued a challenge to the FCC’s broadband data maps, which revealed more than 31,000 underserved and unserved locations missing from the FCC’s data, following a statewide mobilization of regional, county, and local officials and New York’s own, first-of-its-kind interactive broadband map. In May, the FCC released updated data including over 140,000 unserved locations in New York and nearly 38,000 locations that have access to the minimal level of internet speeds to qualify as underserved.
United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said, "Through President Biden's Investing in America agenda, we are making the largest investment ever to deliver reliable and affordable high-speed Internet for all New Yorkers, close the digital divide in the Empire State, and create thousands of good jobs as we build out our network infrastructure. I appreciate Governor Hochul's leadership and work to ensure New York families will be able to connect to the digital economy and access even more opportunities to learn, work, and grow."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law we passed, a historic nearly $670 million is now on its way to expand broadband infrastructure and boost high-quality internet access across New York. Whether it is for work, school, or getting the healthcare you need, access to the internet is not luxury, but a necessity for modern life. Long before the pandemic, communities across New York, from rural communities Upstate to bustling city neighborhoods, have struggled to obtain reliable high-speed internet service. I am proud to deliver this record setting nearly $670 million for New York to help finally close the digital divide. New York, under Governor Hochul’s leadership, is leading the charge to get all New Yorkers the equitable access to the internet they deserve, and this major federal investment will help finally give our communities the support they need to succeed in the 21st century.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “Access to affordable, high-quality internet is critical to connect New Yorkers with work, health care, education and more. This funding will go directly toward bridging the digital divide and deliver high-speed internet to families across New York State. I am proud to have worked to deliver this funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and I will continue to fight so every New Yorker has access to reliable, high-quality internet.”
Representative Brian Higgins said, “High speed internet access is a necessity, not a luxury for New Yorkers of all ages. From school work, to telehealth, accessing government services, applying to jobs, working from home, and more, at home internet access has become a daily utility. Unfortunately, the FCC’s broadband maps reveal significant gaps in access to service, a challenge that many Western New Yorkers understand. Thanks to investments made by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are taking another step toward providing communities with optimal broadband infrastructure that will ensure that families have the reliable and equitable internet access they need each day to work, live, and educate their children.”
Representative Paul Tonko said, “Even as the COVID pandemic has made remote work and school a new normal for many of us, too many Americans, particularly in rural communities, still lack reliable access to the internet. That’s why I’ve been proud to champion efforts to bring broadband access to these unserved and underserved areas, helping to deliver millions in federal funding through my ACCESS BROADBAND Act and the American Rescue Plan. Now, with this critical infusion of funding from our Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are continuing to build the infrastructure that communities across our state and our nation need to thrive.”
Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries said, “In New York and throughout America, there are far too many under-resourced communities without the ability to connect online and engage with family, work, school and telemedicine. Working with President Biden, House Democrats passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to ensure that every single community throughout our nation has access to high-speed internet. We invested $65 billion to expand broadband in every single zip code. I thank President Biden and Governor Hochul for their leadership in shepherding $665 million in crucial investments across New York.”
Representative Grace Meng said, “In Congress, I’m proud to have helped create the $7.1 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund, which helped schools and libraries in Queens and across New York purchase Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, internet service and internet-enabled devices so that we could increase access to the internet in our communities. I thrilled to hail this BEAD allocation as well, and glad to see that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that I helped pass continues to deliver for our state. I will continue championing the crucial issue of improving internet and broadband access, and I thank Governor Hochul for announcing these funds.”
Representative Joseph Morelle said, “Clearly internet access is no longer a luxury—it is a necessity required to participate in today's society. Unfortunately, many families in our community still lack reliable broadband. I'm glad I was able to deliver this federal funding in support equitable internet access, and I appreciate Gov. Hochul’s commitment to ensuring all New Yorkers have the tools they need for success.”
Representative Jamaal Bowman said, “Access to broadband is a critical resource that will open up new opportunities for employment, education, and more, especially for communities that have been underfunded and redlined for decades. I am proud to join Governor Hochul in announcing broadband funding to our underserved communities to ensure that New Yorkers across the state can connect with and learn from each other. This is a necessary step to improving digital equity and access to opportunities throughout our state.”
Representative Richie Torres said, “Reliable, accessible, and quality internet access is no longer a luxury — it is a necessity for almost every aspect of everyday life. That’s one reason why I was proud to support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which continues to deliver historic and critical investments in New York and across America. Too many of our communities have historically been left behind without the ability to easily get online and be connected. But with this funding, our state and federal governments will work together to deploy broadband service equitably to make sure every New Yorker has the internet service they need and deserve.”
Other ConnectALL Initiatives
Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, the ConnectALL Office is gathering an unprecedented level of community input to inform its broadband work. ConnectALL recently completed a three-month, statewide tour of 10 digital equity listening sessions to inform the development of the BEAD Five-Year Action Plan, the BEAD Initial Proposal, and the State Digital Equity Plan. ConnectALL will continue to meet with community stakeholders, coalitions, and statewide networks, including through the New York State Internet Access Survey, which closes on June 30. ConnectALL will make the New York State Digital Equity Plan available for public comment in September.
In addition, New York State continues to drive nation-leading enrollment in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program, a nationwide subsidy to expand broadband access to low-income households. New York has enrolled more than 1.3 million households in the program as a result of a multi-agency, multi-pronged outreach effort led by the New York State Department of Public Service and Empire State Development.
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Investing in our broadband connectivity is investing in economic development. By collaborating with communities, our local governments and stakeholders, we can close the digital divide, grow our digital infrastructure and bring affordable and equitable broadband to all New Yorkers.”