On March 5, 2013 Governor Cuomo awarded $25 million to expand broadband Internet access to rural upstate and underserved urban areas of New York through the Connect NY Broadband Grant Program. The Governor’s commitment amounts to the largest amount of State funding dedicated to broadband in New York State’s history. Eighteen broadband projects were selected to receive Connect NY Broadband grants based on the endorsement of the Regional Councils and technical scores awarded by a committee who analyzed and ranked projects competing for the $25 million in broadband funding. The $25 million in state funding will be combined with a private sector investment for each broadband project, increasing the total statewide investment to more than $32 million.
The broadband projects selected as Connect NY grant recipients are as follows:
$24,010 - The Smithville Project
This project with Haefele TV Inc. will serve the Southern Tier region. The Smithville project will build fiber optic cable utilizing existing infrastructure. The network will pass 350 homes and provide broadband service with speeds of 7 Mbps download and 1.5 Mbps upload to approximately 100 new subscribers.
$114,015 - Ovid and Romulus Broadband Project
This project with Trumansburg Telephone Company will serve the Finger Lakes region. The Ovid and Romulus Broadband Project will provide broadband to unserved areas in company territory in the towns of Ovid and Romulus. This project will enable 110 customers in this area that have no availability to any type of broadband services to obtain high-speed Internet service. The project will also offer discounts on subscription fees, free training and email addresses.
$200,000 - Connect Thurman White Space Project
This project with Warren County Economic Development Corporation will serve the Capital District region. Through a public/private partnership, the Thurman White Space project will provide broadband access to 89 households in the northeast area of the Town of Thurman. The Town of Thurman will also offer economically disadvantaged residents access to public computers and enhanced digital literacy training.
$557,000 - Essex County Broadband Service Expansion
This project will serve the North Country region. The Essex County Broadband Service Expansion project will provide high-speed broadband service to households that do not have access within the Towns of Jay and Wilmington, passing 1,900 households. The project will also provide digital video services and potentially a competitive telephone service.
$558,940 - Otsego County Wireless Network
This project with the County of Otsego IDA will serve the Mohawk Valley region. The Otsego County Wireless Network will partner with a last-mile provider to leverage a county-wide, open access fiber backbone to deploy last-mile, wireless broadband to 24 towns, 9 villages and 1 city in Otsego County, serving approximately 28,000 households, 4,500 businesses and 300 community anchor institution locations. The wireless network will also be made available to any viable organization or service provider that wishes to use it.
$572,000 - Hamilton and Herkimer Counties Broadband
The Broadband 1 project with Newport Telephone Company is a multi-region project serving the North Country and Mohawk Valley regions. The project will leverage existing infrastructure to provide broadband service to 230 residents, businesses and community anchor institutions in Hamilton and Herkimer Counties. The project will also enhance emergency services for both counties.
$672,452 - Southern Tier Broadband
This project with the Southern Tier West Development Foundation will serve the Western region. The project will expand access to broadband service and increase broadband speeds through a WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) system to towns and villages in the counties of Chautauqua, Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Erie County, passing more than 41,000 households. The project will also partner with local medical clinics to enhance electronic medical records and upgrade hardware and software at libraries in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Steuben, and Chemung Counties.
$800,000 - Allegany County Broadband
This project with Allegany County will serve the Western New York region. The Allegany County Broadband project will create a county-wide platform for providing access to an existing network, delivering broadband to 28 local communities and 17,440 households in Allegany County that are currently without broadband service.
$976,426 - Lyon Mountain Broadband
This project with Slic Network Solutions will serve the North Country region. The Lyon Mountain Broadband Project will provide high-speed, low-cost broadband service in the Community of Lyon Mountain to 527 households, utilizing fiber-to-the-home technology. In addition this network will also deliver telephone service, IPTV service, and advance business services over the fiber.
$1,012,366 - Bellmont North Next Generation Broadband
This project with Slic Network Solutions will serve the North Country region. The Bellmont North Next Generation Broadband project will provide high-speed, low-cost broadband service in the Adirondack Park to the northern end of the Town of Bellmont. This service will be delivered utilizing 25.3 miles of fiber to the home and wireless technology to connect 124 households. The network will also allow for the delivery of telephone service, IPTV service, and advance business services over the fiber.
$1,636,346 - Connect NYC
This project with the New York City Economic Development Corporation will serve the New York City region. By conducting a competition to fund fiber build out to small and medium businesses and in collaboration with private sector Internet Service Providers, the Connect NYC Project will be used to extend the fiber infrastructure available to commercial and industrial businesses in New York City.
$1,800,000 - MTC Broadband Buildout
The MARK Project Inc. will serve municipalities in the Capital District, Mohawk Valley and the Southern Tier. The project will deliver telecommunications services, including broadband, voice and video services, to 900 residents, businesses, and anchor institutions within the unserved areas of the towns of Conesville, Gilboa, Halcott, Middletown, and Roxbury. The project will also offer broadband connectivity to community anchor institutions within the service area free of charge.
$1,999,584 - Parish Broadband
This project with New Visions Communications will serve the Central New York region. The project will utilize existing infrastructure to provide high-speed internet, VoIP and cable television to the Town of Parish, where 72% of the population does not have access to broadband, VoIP or landline cable television. The project will also create 20 construction jobs and 6 permanent jobs.
$2,042,177 - Connecting the Capital Region
Hudson Valley Wireless will provide high-speed fixed wireless broadband access to nearly 40,000 households and 2,000 businesses that currently do not have access in Washington and Rensselaer Counties. In addition, the network will enhance public safety operations in the region by enabling redundancy of public safety communications and by allowing municipalities to use a portion of the bandwidth at no cost.
$2,162,656 - Schroon Lake Next Generation Broadband
This project with Slic Network Solutions will serve the North Country region. Slic Networks Solutions will provide high-speed, low-cost broadband service to 457 households in the unserved areas of the Town of Schroon and the Town of North Hudson. This service will be delivered utilizing fiber to the home technology. Slic will also provide wireless hot spots for frequently visited public locations including the public beach in Schroon Lake.
$2,216,000 - Tompkins and Cayuga Counties Last Mile Coverage
This project with Clarity Connect Inc. is a multi-region project serving the Central New York and Southern Tier regions. This project leverages existing tower infrastructure to provide broadband services to the unserved portions of the Towns of Ulysses, Enfield, Newfield, Danby, Groton, Lansing, Ledyard, Genoa, Venice, Scipio, Niles, Sempronius, and Summerhill in Cayuga and Tompkins County. The project will also upgrade DSL services increasing existing speeds.
$2,407,049 - Yates County Open Access Fiber Network
This project with Yates County will serve the Finger Lakes region. The Open Access Fiber Network will build and operate a fiber-optic ring with spurs to remote areas within the County of Yates. This network will serve as a backbone foundation for the development of community-based broadband initiatives. The open access fiber network will be 68 miles long, passing 10,400 households and available for use within each town it routes through.
$5,266,979 - Statewide Broadband Expansion
The Statewide Broadband Expansion Project is a statewide project serving 9 regions. Time Warner Cable will deploy robust high-speed Internet service to 4,114 households in the Capital, Central, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson, Mohawk Valley, NYC, North Country, Southern Tier and Western regions of New York State. The project will also provide residents with access to digital TV, telephone services and security services.
Regional Economic Development Council Grants: Round 2
On December 19, 2012, Governor Cuomo awarded $6 million in funding to four projects sponsors in the North Country to expand access to high-speed Internet services throughout the region. The funding is part of the $738 million awarded through Round Two of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. Broadband expansion was included as a priority in the North Country regional plan. More than 60,000 households in the North Country region lack access to high-speed Internet access, with Hamilton County having the lowest percentage of served residents.
The four broadband projects awarded from Round 2 of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative are:
Development Authority of the North Country (DANC)
North Country Public Emergency Network - $2,200,000 to construct a Public Emergency Network for Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Lewis, Franklin, Essex, and Clinton Counties. The network will provide high-speed broadband services to 21 public emergency locations, including 911 centers, public emergency locations, critical public emergency communications towers, and 20 municipal buildings supporting emergency operations.
North Country Telecommunications Loan Fund - $500,000 will enable DANC to create and manage a loan fund that will be used to support last mile build-out of high-speed broadband for residents and businesses in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties. With $1M in matching funds from the Authority and a 20% applicant match, local governments, IDA’s and private broadband service providers will be able to construct last-mile build outs to connect unserved communities in the region.
Hamilton County Broadband Phase II - With only 3% of the population having access to broadband, the County has the largest percentage of unserved residents in the State. This $1,700,00 grant will complement a previously awarded $596,000 NYS grant to provide high-speed Internet access to more than 8,000 county residents.
Slic Network Solutions
Long Lake Next Generation Broadband - $1,400,000 will enable Slic to provide high-speed, low cost broadband service utilizing fiber to the home and wireless technology to more than 700 unserved households in the Hamlet of Long Lake and the surrounding area. The broadband service will also be capable of delivering telephone, video and advanced business services.
Regional Economic Development Council Grants: Round 1
In December 2011, Governor Cuomo awarded more than $2 million in funding for broadband projects during the first round of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Grants. The $2 million will be distributed among four project sponsors to increase physical access to broadband services.
Broadband Project Sponsor REDC Funding Recipients
Universal Broadband Access Grant Program
In 2008, New York State funded the Universal Broadband Access Grant Program. $5 million was awarded to private/public partnerships within two types of broadband grant categories. Three organizations received grants to develop statewide broadband Internet infrastructure and six organizations received grants to provide broadband Internet access and digital literacy services to underserved rural and urban areas.
Organizations awarded grants to advance broadband:
Broadband Internet Infrastructure Grantees
Clarity Connect, Inc. in the Town of Dryden was awarded $430,369 to build a wireless broadband network to serve the area around the Town of Dryden, in Tompkins County.
New Visions Powerline Communications, Inc. was awarded $1,456,631 to develop a “Broadband Over Power Line” solution for the Villages of Solvay, Westvale, Fairmont and Camillus; and the Town of Geddes (Onondaga County). This is an emerging technology to allow a user to plug a computer into any electrical outlet in their home and instantly have access to high-speed Internet.
Southern Tier West Regional Planning & Development Board was awarded $613,000 to build building a wireless broadband network to serve rural areas of Allegany County, which do not have access to affordable broadband services and provide basic Internet training classes and training on business applications.
Broadband Internet Access and Digital Literacy Grantees
The County of St. Lawrence was awarded $60,000 to provide network connections to meet voice and data needs of an economic keystone industry and provide broadband service to the community of Newton Falls in St. Lawrence County.
TVC Albany, Inc. d/b/a/ Tech Valley Communications was awarded $624,600 to expand Albany FreeNet into Albany city neighborhoods to support broadband access for public safety and city agency activities like launching digital literacy and virtual workforce training programs.
Clarity Connect, Inc. / Milford School District was awarded $71,700 to reconstruct an existing tower owned by the school district and equipment necessary to deliver services to residents, as well as provide initial hardware and installation costs and reduced subscription costs for eligible low income residents.
Urban Communications Transport Corporation was awarded $999,400 to bring affordable broadband service to households located in underserved neighborhoods of New York City including the Bronx, Harlem, Brooklyn and Queens Boroughs. This consists of the construction and operation of a hybrid fiber/wireless residential broadband network.
The NYS Education Department was awarded $235,500 to provide broadband access and upgrade existing access in public libraries located in high need communities to enable libraries to provide digital literacy training, to increase e-government services offered and to increase opportunities for partnerships with other state and private funding entities.