New York governor Andew Cuomo is launching a $1 billion broadband program using both public and private funds in order to provide high speed broadband access statewide by 2019. The initiative amounts to the largest investment in universal broadband deployment in the country.
In order to meet the goal, New York is creating a $500 million New NY Broadband Program which will use funds from bank settlements to incentivize private sector network expansion in areas were populations aren’t as dense as downstate.
For communities and providers that want to take part in the program, both parties must agree on a 1:1 funding match with private companies contributing as much as communities do. The state also has plans for improving the overall affordability of broadband in New York.
Broadband providers must also provide internet speeds 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 speeds to the most 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.
According to the Governor’s office, one million New Yorkers and 4,000 businesses cannot get access to broadband at the state’s previously established minimum speed standards (6 Mbps download and 1.5 Mbps upload). 5.4 million more residents and some 55,000 businesses can’t get speeds of 25mbps.
The state will also be looking at permitting, land use, and right of way rules in order to facilitate more rapid network expansion.
“Access to high-speed internet is critical to ensuring that all New Yorkers can reach their full potential in today’s technology-driven world,” Governor Cuomo said. “We’re launching the largest state broadband investment in the nation in order to make that goal a reality.”