The state will distribute $14.5 million to nine upstate projects aimed at expanding high-speed Internet to areas where it’s not currently available, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced Thursday.
The projects will lay 614 miles of new fiber necessary for broadband Internet, bringing it to an additional 29,000 households and 2,000 businesses, according to Cuomo’s office. The projects are mostly across rural portions of the Southern Tier and North Country.
“These grants will connect underserved and rural communities to the many benefits of broadband access, including giving local businesses the opportunity to reach consumers from around the world,” Cuomo said in a statement.
While the state’s urban centers have long had access to high-speed Internet, it hasn’t been available in more remote areas of New York.
The largest grant, about $2.4 million, will go toward creating a fiber network in Yates County.
About $2.2 million will go to Clarity Connect Inc. to provide “last mile” service—actually connecting the network to households. A $672,000 grant was provided to the Southern Tier Network, a local development corporation building a network in Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties.
The grants represent more than half of the total available for broadband construction from the state. In 2012, the state set aside $25 million for the program.