Aug 22, 2023
NY to get $100M in fed funds to boost broadband internet for low income families
ALBANY — New York is getting $100 million in federal grant money to expand
ALBANY — New York is getting $100 million in federal grant money to expand high-speed internet access for low-income families across the state.
Gov. Hochul joined White House officials, as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, both New York Democrats, on Wednesday to announce that funding from 2021′s American Rescue Plan Act will be used to boost broadband access to about 100,000 households.
"Affordable, reliable broadband access is essential to connect New Yorkers with work, education and government services, but still out of reach for far too many families," the governor said.
Gov. Kathy Hochul (Yuki IWAMURA/AP)
The funds will be used to upgrade internet access in affordable housing units and build upon the state's Affordable Housing Connectivity Program, a competitive grant program designed to fund high-speed, reliable broadband infrastructure to and within low-income housing buildings, according to officials.
Additionally, Hochul's Connect All broadband initiative has set aside $1.2 billion to expand internet access statewide.
"These federal dollars will go directly toward closing the digital divide, which means connecting communities to good-paying jobs, better health care and higher-quality education in our schools," Schumer said. "I am proud to deliver this major $100 million investment to provide more equitable broadband accessibility throughout the state and help New Yorkers thrive in today's digital economy."
Jason Morisseau uses a fusion splicer to install fiber optic cable that is being run to a home, in Concord, Vt., Feb. 10, 2022. (Wilson Ring/AP)
The $10 billion Capital Projects Fund portion of the American Rescue Plan was designed to address challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in rural, tribal and low- and moderate-income communities.
So far, the Treasury Department has approved about 29% of New York's total allocation from the fund.
"During the pandemic, we saw how important high-quality broadband is for business, health care, school, and more," Gillibrand said. "That's why, when we wrote the American Rescue Plan, we included robust funding for broadband delivery, which can create new economic opportunities, raise property values and improve people's life and health outcomes."
The announcement comes a week after Mayor Adams unveiled the expansion of Big Apple Connect, the city's own broadband network initiative. The program provides free or discounted internet and cable service to 202 New York City Housing Authority developments.