New York Issues RFI for Broadband Program

Responses Due October 30
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a Request for Information (RFI) last week (hat tip: DSL Reports) to help finalize the guidelines for the New NY Broadband Program,  which aims to “substantially" expand  high-speed broadband service in the state by the end of 2018.

New York has committed $500 million in capital for the initiative. Responses to the RFI, made available a week ago, are due Friday, Oct. 30.

Among the goals, the program aims to provide access to broadband speeds of at least 100 Mbps “in most places,” and 25 Mbps “in the most remote underserved and unserved parts of the State.” The latter figure lines up with the FCC’s new broadband definition for the downstream.

The plan also calls for public/private sector partnerships and a required private sector co-investment, and the use of state-owned fiber and other assets.

The RFI (PDF) seeks to identify strategies for structuring and/or implementing the program, and to stimulate, how New York can tap into partnerships, utilize existing assets, and coordinate broadband deployment with other infrastructure improvements.

The RFI also acknowledged that access to broadband in New York has improved, but presents data showing that about 500,000 homes in the state lacked access to speeds of at least 25 Mbps as of July 2014, and that 3 million homes and 113,000 businesses can’t get 100  Mbps.

“Many of these coverage gaps exist due to the challenge of deploying broadband to New York State’s rural communities,” the RFI states.

“High speed internet access has become an essential ingredient of any strong economy and New York is leading the nation to close the broadband gap,” Cuomo said, in a statement. “With this action, we are engaging providers, municipal leaders and other stakeholders to help ensure the New NY Broadband Program leverages the State’s investment in the best way and fulfills its goal of providing access to high speed Internet to every New Yorker in every corner of this state." 

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