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New York to use $100 million in federal funding for statewide broadband program

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

Date:

New York State will use $100 million in federal funding to expand high-speed internet across the state.

The U.S. Department of Treasury is awarding the funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.), U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.), and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced this week.

Gene Sperling, senior advisor to the President and American Rescue Plan coordinator and Jacob Leibenluft, U.S. Treasury chief recovery officer, joined the lawmakers for the Wednesday announcement, per Schumer’s office.

This is the “largest targeted investment in affordable housing connectivity in the nation,” the lawmakers said. New York estimates this funding will allow it to connect 100,000 homes and families to affordable, high-speed internet statewide.

The new federal funding comes from the $10 billion in ARPA’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, Hochul’s office noted.

New York’s Affordable Housing Connectivity Program is a competitive grant program designed to pay for 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 U.S. Department of the Treasury represents 29 percent of the state’s total allocation under the Capital Project Funds program. New York submitted plans for the remainder of its Capital Project Funds and these applications are currently under review by Treasury, according to Hochul’s office.

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