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$25 million goes to expand broadband access in New York

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The state's Connect NY Broadband Grant program awarded $25 million to 18 projects on Tuesday.

From the press release:

Together, these projects will build approximately 6,000 square miles of new infrastructure and will provide high-speed Internet service to 153,000 New York households, 8,000 businesses, and 400 community anchor institutions – many without any means to access the Internet. In addition to the vast economic benefits derived from broadband access, the projects being funded by Connect NY will create 1,400 new jobs. Most of the funding will be for the “last-mile” of broadband service, which means the projects will provide high speed Internet connections directly to New Yorkers. The last mile is the most expensive portion of a broadband network, and often prevents many rural residents from receiving broadband service, even when service is available to nearby homes.

A "last-mile" project in Tompkins and Cayuga Counties received the third-highest dollar amount among the 18 recipients.

The $2.2 million grant came to the counties after two years spent studying broadband access in the region.

Pat Pryor is chair of the Tompkins County Legislature’s Special Committee on Broadband and worked on the application with local provider Clarity Connect. She says the goal is to provide access to homes and businesses in rural areas.

“That’s why they don’t have service there now is because the Verizons and the Time Warners don’t find it to be cost efficient to go out to these rural places,” says Pryor.

She says the new service will be mostly wireless and they are still about $600,000 short of what’s needed to complete the project. 

Other projects include network expansions in the Mohawk Valley, Mid-Hudson, Capital Region and the North Country.

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