Upstate New York Businesses Support #Broadband4All Campaign

ALBANY, NY — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that 95 businesses from across Upstate New York are supporting the #Broadband4All campaign, which is backing the Governor’s proposal to dramatically expand the state’s broadband infrastructure. Broadband plays a crucial role in supporting economic activity in both rural and urban communities, and New York’s competitiveness and overall business climate would be dramatically improved by the implementation of the Governor’s New NY Broadband Program.

"Access to broadband is critical for businesses to compete and succeed in the global marketplace," Governor Cuomo said. "That's why we need to make a bold investment to strengthen New York's tech infrastructure. Our proposal will transform the landscape of broadband access for all New Yorkers, and I urge the legislature to join us in making it a reality this year."

Broadband Spurs Economic Opportunity, Regardless of Geography
Broadband is an essential component for creating and sustaining economic opportunity throughout the state, regardless of geography, by connecting businesses with consumers and markets around the globe. Nationwide, the amount of annual e-commerce sales from web-only merchants grew from approximately $9.72 billion in 2003 to nearly $106 billion in 2013. It is also closely linked to job creation – regardless of industry, broadband is considered responsible for 43 percent of all new jobs created by businesses across the country since 2013.

Governor Cuomo launched the #Broadband4All campaign last week to rally support for his New NY Broadband Program proposal, which will help meet the goal of ensuring that every New Yorker has access to high-speed Internet service by the end of 2018. Since then, more than 30 health care organizations and related groups have announced their support. The Governor’s administration also launched ny.gov/broadbandforall, which encourages New Yorkers to become involved and provides more information on the proposal and its importance.

The Plan: Universal Broadband Access by the End of 2018
To accomplish this, Governor Cuomo will invest $500 million to jumpstart the New NY Broadband Program utilizing capital funds from bank settlements to incentivize the private sector to expand high-speed broadband access in underserved and unserved areas. Broadband providers and communities will utilize this funding to deliver service in a given area, and must adhere to the following qualifications:

Matching private-sector investments. Broadband providers will contribute, on average, at least 50 percent of the capital needed, which will push the size of the program above $1 billion. The State’s investment will serve to stimulate competition in the broadband market where none or little exists; improving affordability and quality of service.

Internet Access Rates of at Least 100 Mbps
Unprecedented broadband speed. Broadband providers must provide Internet access rates of at least 100 Mbps, with funding priority given to those delivering the highest speeds at the lowest cost. In certain limited cases, providers may offer 25 Mbps rates to the exceptionally remote unserved and underserved areas of the state (more than three times the current standard) scalable to 100 Mbps or more - if this provides the best means of achieving universal broadband access to the region.

Local input to guide development. Building on the successful Connect NY model, each Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) will submit a comprehensive plan to the State that: 1) identifies unserved and underserved areas; 2) aggregates demand across residential, institutional and business sectors; 3) details the most cost-effective means to provide universal access; and 4) leverages state-owned assets where possible.

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