New York state is accepting applications from tech companies to participate in the New NY Broadband Program, aimed at extending high-speed Internet access to unserved and underserved areas across the state.
The state launched its Consolidated Funding Application Portal, through which companies can apply. The $500 million program provides funding for companies to provide service where it is not available or is inadequate.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it is the largest and most ambitious state investment in broadband in the nation.
“Access to high-speed Internet is essential for engaging in the 21st century economy, but the broadband gap is leaving far too many New Yorkers behind,” Cuomo said. “Through this unprecedented investment, we will be expanding reliable Internet access in underserved areas, helping businesses become more competitive, and making broadband available in every comer of New York. I encourage all eligible applicants to apply and take advantage of this new opportunity.”
Funding recipients will be chosen through a “reverse-auction” methodology, which awards projects to bidders seeking the lowest amount of state investment.
Applications may now be submitted through the state CFA Portal, and are due Friday, April 15 at 4:30 p.m. Potential applicants should review the guidelines and questions to prepare their Phase 1 applications. Applicants must be able to complete projects by Dec. 31, 2018.
Subsequent rounds of funding will be announced throughout 2016.
“Broadband has become a central component of economic growth and innovation,” Empire State Development President and CEO Howard Zemsky said. “The New NY Broadband Program is inclusive and will create a more interconnected Empire State. We are eager to begin reviewing applications and look forward to ensuring that every New Yorker, and every small business, has the Internet access they need to reach their goals.”
The program is designed to ensure that every New Yorker has access to high-speed Internet by 2018. According to Cuomo, approved merger of Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications, together with the New NY Broadband initiative, will significantly increase broadband availability for millions of New Yorkers.
Central components of the program include:
• New access to broadband at speeds of at least 100 Mbps; 25 Mbps in the most remote areas of the state.
• Public-private partnership with a 50 percent match in private sector investment targeted across the program.
• High priority for unserved areas and projects that most improve broadband Internet access in underserved areas, including libraries and educational opportunity centers.
Applications will be chosen through a “reverse-auction” process, which will award funding to bidders seeking the lowest state investment. Auctions will be held within each Regional Economic Development Council region to ensure statewide allocations of funding.
Cuomo said broadband is an essential component for creating and sustaining economic opportunity throughout New York state, by connecting businesses with consumers and markets around the globe. While New York’s broadband landscape has seen substantial improvements over the past four years, many households are still unable to fully access it.