New York State Will Receive $100 Million in Federal Funding to Expand Broadband Infrastructure and Provide High-Quality Internet to 100,000 Underserved Families and Homes Across the Empire State
Funding Comes From American Rescue Plan’s $10 Billion Capital Projects Fund To Bring Fast and Affordable High-Speed Internet To Underserved Communities In Rural and Urban Communities That Lack Critical Service
Governor Kathy Hochul, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that New York State will receive $100 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury through the American Rescue Plan to expand high-speed internet. This is the largest targeted investment in affordable housing connectivity in the nation. New York estimates this funding will allow them to connect 100,000 homes and families to affordable, high-speed internet across the state.
“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,” Governor Hochul said.“This critical funding to unlock high-speed internet for thousands of New York renters will build on the success of our ConnectALL broadband initiative while supporting the goals our five-year plan to build and preserve more affordable housing. Thanks to the Biden administration and New York’s Senate and Congressional delegations, New York will continue to lead the nation in bridging the digital divide and making broadband available to all.”
The new federal investment comes from the $10 billion in the American Rescue Plan’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF), a program designed to address the challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in rural America, Tribal communities, and low- and moderate-income communities. A key priority of the CPF is to make funding available to help ensure that all communities have access to high-quality modern infrastructure, including reliable, affordable high-speed broadband needed to access critical services. New York’s Affordable Housing Connectivity Program is a competitive grant program designed to fund high-speed, reliable broadband infrastructure to and within low-income housing buildings. CPF funds will be used to upgrade internet access in affordable housing units. The plan submitted to Treasury and being approved today represents 29 percent of the state’s total allocation under the Capital Project Funds program. New York submitted plans for the remainder of their Capital Project Funds and these applications are currently under review by Treasury.
Highspeed internet a priority for underserved communities in the Mohawk Valley
Today’s investment is also on top of the historic federal funding secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law which included a record $65 billion for the expansion of high-speed internet to connect the unserved, make internet affordable, and provide resources for digital literacy. Together, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the American Rescue Plan are working in tandem to close the digital divide – providing access to high-speed internet in underserved communities and lowering costs for those who cannot afford it.
This funding builds on the historic federal investments.
New York, under Governor Hochul’s leadership, has been leading the nation in closing the digital divide. Last year, New York enrolled one million qualifying households in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program, a nationwide subsidy to expand broadband access to low-income households. The federal program, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides discounts of up to $30 a month toward internet service for eligible low-income households.
In partnership with historic federal broadband funding, Governor Hochul’s $1.2 billion ConnectALL initiative has made significant investments in mapping and data collection; grant programs to support municipal open-access infrastructure, rural broadband projects, and innovative service delivery pilots; broadband upgrades in affordable housing; reforms to streamline deployment and remove regulatory hurdles; and the development of a Statewide Digital Equity Plan and Digital Equity Grant Program. Congress passed the Broadband DATA Act to better show where New Yorker’s lacked internet. Last year, the ConnectALL office supplemented the federal FCC broadband data by providing more than 31,000 addresses to help the better address the needs of New York communities unserved or underserved by broadband.