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New York City plans whopping USD 1 billion for expansion of its broadband network

Last Updated on 08th January 2024

State governments are planning to use federal infrastructure funding to extend broadband internet access, with the Empire State leading the way. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul caused quite a stir on this front last month when she unveiled ConnectALL, a USD 1 billion plan to modernize the state’s digital infrastructure.


ConnectALL is a public-private partnership that aims to bring inexpensive, dependable internet to millions of New Yorkers in both rural and urban regions across the state. What does all of this mean for New York State and its citizens?


With little or no broadband connectivity, the coronavirus pandemic showed the actual and figurative disconnect for schools, companies, and households. Broadband has been inconsistent or inaccessible for many New Yorkers, with low-income and marginalized groups bearing the brunt of the consequences.


ConnectALL aims to bridge the gap and improve access for all residents by allowing local governments and state agencies to build statewide broadband infrastructure.


An evaluation program to generate the state's first in-depth and interactive broadband map is one of the primary components of the ConnectALL initiative. The study will give the state a complete picture of the state's broadband infrastructure's availability and reliability.


By turning that perspective into an interactive application, New Yorkers will be able to see what services are available in their neighborhood. It will also make it easier for the state to target broadband connectivity initiatives.


In addition, three grant programs will be developed to offer financing for planning, engineering, and building of broadband infrastructure in communities:


Municipalities and charities will be able to apply for financing through the Local Connectivity Planning and 21st-Century Municipal Infrastructure grant program, which will promote public infrastructure.


The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides matching grants and financing for the Rural Broadband grant program (IIJA). This award initiative will assist rural areas in obtaining broadband access, including last-mile connections and middle-mile improvements.


The Connectivity Innovation grant program will offer competitive grants to assist fund and support innovation across the state.


Through the IIJA, ConnectALL also hopes to make a $30 monthly broadband subsidy for low-income households permanent. To increase enrollment in the federal subsidy program, the state's Department of Public Service will run a statewide marketing campaign. In New York, just about a third of eligible households take use of the program.


The state will develop an equity plan with local communities, as well as private and nonprofit stakeholders, to ensure equitable access through ConnectALL. It also intends to convert all affordable housing projects with broadband installation.


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