Today, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking the $500 million New NY Broadband Program into immediate action. The program is employing capital funds from various bank settlements to increase high-speed internet access in underserved areas. The program is the third component in Cumo’s 2015 State of Opportunity Agenda, which is a $1 billion broadband program that helps public and private resources, promising that by 2019 high-speed internet will be readily accessible to all New Yorkers.
In order for communities to utilize this opportunity, there are three qualifications:
- Matching private sector investments. Funding must provide at least a 1:1 financial match.
- Unprecedneted broadbandspeed. Broadband providers must provide speeds of at least 100 Mbps.
- Local input to guide development. The Regional Economic Development Council will submit plans to identify underserved areas and detail cost-effective means to provide access.
“Access to high-speed internet is critical to ensuring that all New Yorkers can reach their full potential in today’s technology-driven world. We’re launching the largest state broadband investment in the nation in order to make that goal a reality. This is a truly bold undertaking that will improve the lives of New Yorkers in every corner of the State, and I am proud to make it a priority of our administration’s second term agenda,” Cuomo stated.
In fact, Broadband is responsible for 20% of all new jobs across different industries. While it may seem only beneficial to the corporate world, farmers need broadband to manage crops and rural doctors need it for x-rays. Broadband is also essential in terms of students needing it for learning and doing work digitally. Rachel Haot, Cuomo’s Chief Diversity Officer, is tweeting about it.
View the breakdown of current broadband access speeds here.