Governor Cuomo announced that today the state will begin accepting applications in the “Connect NY” program which provides $25 million in grant funding to promote broadband internet access across the state. The grants are made available through the Regional Councils and Empire State Development and will help expand high speed internet access in rural upstate and underserved urban areas of New York.
Expanding high-speed internet was identified last year as a priority by the Regional Councils in order to help local businesses expand their ability to reach customers and encourage broadband providers to improve internet access for local communities. Broadband internet grants, such as Connect NY, both spur investment by service providers in communities and help boost economic development in each region by expanding the ability of local businesses to reach consumers globally.
Applications will be reviewed and scored on the following metrics.
• Providing new service to areas with little or no Internet. Additional weight will be given for plans that provide more internet access to the local public through libraries, parks, and other community areas, help local health centers provide new online access to health records and services, and expand internet service in economically distressed areas.
• Creating a plan for educating local businesses and residents on how to use the internet.
• Building off existing internet networks to more efficiently expand high speed Internet service in communities that broadband in only some areas but not throughout the area.
• Receiving of the endorsement of the local Regional Council.
For more information and to read the full press release.
The application process will be open on August 22 and can be accessed by visiting the NYS Broadband website.