The third and final round of state broadband investments will bring high-speed internet access to many underserved or unserved areas of Cayuga County.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that the state will provide more than $22 million in grants to support broadband projects in five central New York counties. Projects in Cayuga County will receive nearly half of the funding.
Verizon will receive a bulk of the state funding — more than $15.2 million — to support two broadband deployment projects in central New York. Clarity Fiber Solutions, which has led other internet projects in southern Cayuga County before, will receive more than $6.7 million for its broadband project.
In the third phase of the New NY Broadband Program, state grants totaling $11,203,287 will support deployment of high-speed internet in 23 Cayuga County towns. When private investment is factored in, the projects will cost $18,651,827 and bring broadband access to 2,133 businesses and homes in the county.
The top beneficiaries of the state's support are in the southern end of the county. The investments include a $3,465,785 state grant to support broadband deployment for 483 businesses and homes in the town of Genoa. An additional $2,956,321 will help provide broadband to 425 locations in the town of Venice.
"Access to high-speed internet has never been more important for New York residents and businesses," Cuomo said in a statement. "By leveraging state investments with private and federal funding, we are building a stronger, smarter and more competitive New York poised to lead the nation as the first state to achieve total connectivity."
Cuomo launched the New NY Broadband Program in 2015 with the goal of providing high-speed internet access to the entire state. The state allocated $500 million to leverage private investment and other funding sources, including grants available through the federal Connect America Fund.
The program's goal was to provide access to internet with download speeds of 100 megabits per second. In the most remote areas of the state, the minimum speed standard is 25 megabits per second.
Before the New NY Broadband Program began, nearly one-third of the state's residents did not have access to high-speed internet. After the first round of broadband investments, most of those unserved residents received internet access.
By the end of the first round, 97 percent of New Yorkers had broadband access. The second round brought broadband to more than 80,000 businesses and homes and 98 percent of New York residents had access to high-speed internet.
In the third round, the goal is to achieve statewide broadband availability. The state will provided $225.5 million in grants to support broadband deployment for nearly 129,000 homes, businesses and other locations across New York.