Cuomo administration unveils plan to expand broadband access to entire state by 2019

Associated Press

The Cuomo administration wants to give every corner of New York access to broadband Internet by 2019.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the proposal Friday in Lake Placid.

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If approved by state lawmakers the expansion plan would set aside $500 million to go to private broadband providers who invest a matching amount. Priority would be given to providers who guarantee faster Internet speeds.

The state money would come from a $5 billion windfall from settlements with financial institutions.

Hochul says Internet access is vital to economic and educational opportunity and can be as transformative as interstate highway access was decades ago.

One million New Yorkers currently lack broadband service. Millions more have access only to slower connections. The problem is greatest in rural areas like the North Country.