(AP & WXXI News) The state's economic development agency has announced approval of $14.5 million in grants to support nine projects expanding access to broadband high-speed Internet services to parts of upstate New York.
The Empire State Development grants are intended to expand service access to nearly 30,000 residents and more than 2,000 businesses in parts of the greater Albany area, western New York, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, central New York, North Country and Mohawk Valley. One project includes a $2.4 million grant for an open access fiber network in Yates County.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the grants will connect underserved and rural communities with what's become a critical resource in a global economy.
The grants are going to Internet service companies partnering with local governments.
An estimated 500,000 New Yorkers are unable to access broadband, and officials say another six million citizens face significant obstacles connecting to the Internet.