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COMMUNICATIONS

Cayuga County gets nearly $12M for high-speed internet projects

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New York has announced its second round of broadband grants and Cayuga County is the big winner in central New York. 

The county will receive $9.5 million in state grants to support broadband projects that will provide high-speed internet access to 3,209 businesses and residences. 

Combined with private investments, Cayuga County's share of the projects total $11,952,291. 

Three companies have broadband projects in Cayuga County: Frontier, New Visions Communication and TDS Telecom. The internet expansion is targeting the towns of Genoa, Locke, Moravia and Victory and the village of Moravia. 

The investment was announced Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Central New York — Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties — will receive $18.3 million in grants through the state's New NY Broadband Program. The second round of funding will leverage $4.6 million in private funding. 

Since the launch of the New NY Broadband Program last year, central New York has received more than $25.6 million in broadband investments. 

"Broadband is today what electricity was nearly a century ago — essential to creating economic opportunity, driving innovation and an absolute necessity for our way of life," Cuomo said. 

Frontier has three projects in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison and Oswego counties supported by $5.6 million in state funding. New Visions Communications' lone project was awarded $11.3 million by the state. 

TDS Telecom's project netted a $615,903 grant. 

The New NY Broadband Program launched in 2015 and pledged $500 million in state funding for high-speed internet expansion across the state. The goal of the initiative is to provide internet access in unserved and underserved areas. 

The state is supporting projects that will provide speeds of 100 megabits per second to users. For the most remote parts of the state, the goal is 25 megabits per second download speeds. 

The latest round of statewide broadband grants — $268 million in public and private support — will fund 54 projects. Once completed, broadband service will be available for 89,514 businesses, homes and schools. 

Cuomo is hoping to achieve full broadband access in New York by the end of 2018. 

Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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