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Grants available to expand broadband access

By THOMAS ADAMS - 8/27/2012 3:50:05 PM

The state is accepting applications for portions of $25 million to help fund the expansion of broadband access, officials announced Monday.

The Connect NY program promotes and expands broadband Internet access across the state. Grants are available through regional economic development councils, including the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council in the Rochester area.

“This investment in high-speed Internet access will ensure that the information superhighway will be open to all New York businesses,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement released by his office.

“By expanding the availability of high-quality broadband services, Connect NY makes our state a national leader in the digital economy and gives our businesses the tools they need to compete and prosper in the local economy.”

Some 700,000 New Yorkers cannot access broadband, and 6 million more face significant obstacles, the statement said.

Applications will be evaluated by the regional councils and the Empire State Development Corp. based on need, impact, ability to leverage with existing broadband and community support.

The grants will be awarded to Internet service companies in each region and in partnership with local governments and economic development organizations. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 5 at www.nysbroadband.ny.gov.

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