In 2024-2025, New York will receive $664 Million in funding from the federal Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program (BEAD) as part of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The funding’s goal is to bring fiber optic infrastructure to underserved areas.
“The State of New York needs to place capital in areas that need it the most, primarily in areas that show a significant number of underserved homes. The business model needs to be clearly defined, and transparency is key. This is an opportunity to bring competitive options to underserved areas.” - Prashanth Vijay, Flume Cofounder & CEO
Governor Kathy Hochul, along with Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and the New York Congressional Delegation, announced that New York State's ConnectALL Office will receive over $664 million in funding from the federal Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program (BEAD) as part of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This allocation is the most significant single investment in the ConnectALL program. It will bring fiber optic infrastructure to areas in New York that currently lack broadband service.
The ConnectALL initiative, valued at over $1 billion and announced by Governor Hochul in January 2022, aims to transform the state's digital infrastructure and connect all New Yorkers to the internet. It includes funding to reach unserved and underserved locations, grant programs for public broadband infrastructure, affordable and public housing service upgrades, and support for digital inclusion and internet education.
New York will submit an initial grant distribution proposal to President Biden's National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA). Once approved, the ConnectALL Office will invite internet service providers to submit applications for building new broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas. The final proposal will include the selected applications, and upon approval, New York will receive its total BEAD allocation to issue grant awards.
The BEAD allocation is based on New York's portion of the nation's unserved locations, as reported by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In response to Governor Hochul's challenge to the FCC's broadband data maps, the data was incomplete, with over 31,000 underserved and unserved locations missing. Updated data showed over 140,000 unserved areas and nearly 38,000 locations qualifying as underserved in New York.
The funding has received support from federal officials, including United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and the New York Congressional Delegation members.
Aside from the BEAD funding, New York received a $100 million award from the Treasury Department's Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund and two planning grants totaling over $7 million.
Under Governor Hochul's leadership, the ConnectALL Office has sought public input to shape its broadband initiatives. It conducted digital equity listening sessions across the state and will continue to engage with community stakeholders, coalitions, and networks through the New York State Internet Access Survey. The State Digital Equity Plan will be available for public comment in September.
Additionally, New York State has been leading in the enrollment of low-income households in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides subsidies to expand broadband access. Over 1.3 million households have enrolled due to outreach efforts by the New York State Department of Public Service and Empire State Development.
Empire State Development's President, CEO, and Commissioner, Hope Knight, emphasized that investing in broadband connectivity is crucial for economic development. Collaborating with communities and local governments aims to close the digital divide and provide affordable and equitable broadband access to all New Yorkers.
Full Article: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-senator-schumer-senator-gillibrand-and-new-york-congressional-delegation