New York has launched a $1 billion broadband program that could raise the bar for state-level high-speed Internet expansion efforts.
The plan features a $500 million investment from the state of New York, awards from which must be matched at a 1:1 ratio by providers and communities interested in building or extending a broadband network. Called the New NY Broadband Program, participants must provide speeds of at least 100 Mbps, and projects require local input to guide development.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called access to high-speed Internet “critical” for state residents. The press release announcing the program noted that broadband is currently responsible for approximately 20 percent of new jobs across all businesses in New York, and 30 percent of new jobs in businesses of fewer than 20 employees. In addition, the state spotlighted the need for connectivity for farmers, students and rural physicians.