According to The Daily News Online, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York state has announced that the administration will spend $25 million to improve access to broadband high speed internet service throughout rural areas of New York State. The Connect NY program for grants will be made available through the Regional Economic Development Councils and Empire State Development to build networks that are underserved by cable internet providers and phone internet providers in New York State.
High speed internet access is becoming increasingly vital for business use and in everyday modern home life, and areas that are underserved, particularly rural upstate New York, are falling behind. People use the internet to apply for jobs, shop online, and more, and businesses increasingly need the internet to stay connected to customers; without easy and fast internet access, potential workers and businesspeople in these areas are in danger of falling behind their competitors and peers in other parts of the state. Businesses and governments in these rural areas can apply for grants to obtain a part of the $25 million made available for broadband internet access.
It is estimated that more than 700,000 New York state residents do not have access to broadband internet, and another 6.4 million people have difficulty obtaining it, whether because of the cost or because of unavailability. Many of the gaps in broadband service exist because of the high costs and low profit for providers of building networks in areas where the population is sparse. The funding will expand last-mile services to unserved and underserved areas using both existing networks and new infrastructure, and add many miles of wire to bring broadband to areas that have not experienced it before.
Governments and businesses can apply for this new high speed broadband internet access through October 5.