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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that the state is awarding $209.7 million in last mile funding for 43 projects as part of Round 3 of the New NY Broadband program, which aims to deliver high-speed internet access for all New Yorkers. Recipients include Verizon, Frontier Communications, TDS Telecom, and Windstream, among numerous other providers.   

The final round of funding will support the deployment of about 7,544 miles of broadband infrastructure across eight regions of New York, reaching 122,285 homes, businesses and community institutions.

At the beginning of 2017, the FCC voted to release up to $170 million from the Connect America Fund (CAF) to New York to be combined with at least $200 million in state funding and private investment and allocated through the New NY Broadband Program to expand rural broadband deployment in unserved rural areas of the state.

Combined with federal and private commitments Round 3 of the program is helping to drive more than $341.8 million in combined public/private broadband investment.  

"Access to high-speed internet is critical as New York works to deliver the resources needed for industries to thrive and businesses to remain competitive in the 21st century global economy," Governor Cuomo said. "This cutting-edge program is advancing our vision to connect communities, empower entrepreneurs and residents, and support advanced technological innovation. Projects achieved through the New NY Broadband Program are a major step forward in creating the most robust broadband infrastructure network in the nation, while ensuring that reliable, high-speed internet is available to all New Yorkers."

Verizon will receive a total $82.7 million in state and federal funds, plus its own $23.9 million investment to deploy broadband to more than 15,500 rural locations in upstate New York. Verizon was awarded $70.7 million from the New NY Broadband Program, and an additional $12 million in CAF funds.

“Verizon is focused on delivering broadband service, and the major economic benefits associated with it, to the difficult-to-reach service areas of upstate New York,” Kevin Service, SVP of wireline operations for Verizon, said in statement. “We are pleased to partner with New York State and the FCC to achieve our common goal of increasing broadband access for unserved and underserved areas in the State.”

Verizon noted it “will leverage its relationship” with Corning to provide fiber optic cable and associated hardware as part of the broadband expansion. In April, the operator announced a three-year, $1.05 billion purchase agreement with Corning for up to 12.4 million miles of optical fiber each year starting in 2018 and running through 2020.

Frontier Communications is getting $9.72 million in state funding through the program, while Windstream New York is getting $2.69 million to expand broadband in 751 rural locations in Western New York.

TDS Telecom is receiving a combined $1.2 million in last mile funds to improve the overall fiber-optic network for more than 350 households in parts of St. Lawrence County. TDS said it will invest just over $300,000 in its project to upgrade portions of its Edwards Telephone Company, including deploying fiber-to-the-home using Gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Network technology to deliver speeds up to 100 Mbps.

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