New York governor Andrew Cuomo has decided that the 6 Mbps that's out of reach for a million residents of the state isn't good enough, and has created a half-billion-dollar fund to kick things along.
The target, Cuomo says, is to get 100 Mbps speeds to everyone in the 141,000 square kilometre state.
In his announcement, the governor says the US$500 million fund will be offered as a 1:1 match for private sector investment in improving broadband infastructure.
He hopes the project will also boost broadband competition, affordability, and quality of service.
Funding priority will be given to providers who can deliver “the highest speeds at the lowest cost,” the statement says. In some special cases, applicants for the funds will be allowed to start at 25 Mbps if they can demonstrate capacity to scale up to 100 Mbps.
Cuomo claims that broadband is responsible for 20 per cent of new jobs, and 30 per cent of jobs in small businesses.
As well as the million New Yorkers (and 4,000 businesses) that can't get 6 Mbps, there are 5.4 million citizens and 55,000 businesses that can't get 25 Mbps, and 500 schools that can't get broadband at all.
The program, called the New NY Broadband Program, will also look at how to streamline planning permits, “embrace dig-once and make-ready policies”, and examine how the state can use the “500 miles of fibre that runs along the New York State Thruway”. ®