Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Broadband Stimulus Round I Applicants: New York State Seeks $775 Million

Office of Governor David A. Paterson via 09/09/09 New York Governor David A. Paterson (D-NY) today announced that 22 New York State government agencies and non-government organizations have applied for approximately $775 million in federal stimulus grants to make broadband service universally available in unserved and underserved communities across the State.

A complete list of the New York State broadband grant submissions is available: here.

The proposed projects fit Governor Paterson’s vision to build a New Digital Economy and the goals outlined in New York State’s Universal Broadband Strategy (download: .PDF).

The projects will provide greater internet access to people throughout the State, increase digital literacy programs and spur economic development.

“In building the New Economy, we cannot afford to leave any part of New York State without modern, high-speed connection to the internet. The internet is essential not only for jobs and business opportunities, but also for public safety, education and access to health and other services,” said Governor Paterson.

“In these challenging fiscal times, we must take every opportunity to maximize federal stimulus funding opportunities to help make necessary investments to strengthen our communities and grow our economy, especially providing affordable access to high-speed Internet service throughout New York.”

The applications were submitted for broadband funding available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The projects demonstrate innovative approaches to bridge the digital divide and enhance New York’s broadband capacity in communities across the State. The projects will benefit economic and community development efforts, improve public safety communications, expand online government services, provide new educational opportunities and leverage the State’s university research and development capacity.

Some examples of the grant proposals submitted are:

Public Safety: One proposal will use a wireless network to improve emergency communications and the ability of first responders to share information during emergencies. This ground-breaking proposal is the result of unprecedented cooperation between the State and 34 counties.

Research: A high-speed network will create a link between the State University of New York Institute of Technology in Utica and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany to provide connectivity that is crucial for the success of the Computer Chip Hybrid Integration Partnership.

Health: One proposal will link State health agencies and create electronic health records to improve care.

Social Services: A number of proposals will make it easier for New Yorkers to access social services, such as child care, food stamps, home energy assistance, domestic violence support, etc., expanding the use of online government services; and

Mapping: Proposals will continue broadband mapping efforts to map unserved and underserved areas of New York State and provide funding for statewide broadband planning.

New York State Chief Information Officer and Director of the Office for Technology Dr. Melodie
Mayberry-Stewart said: “Leading states are implementing strategies to establish digital literacy standards and ensure universal broadband Internet services are accessible and affordable for citizens and businesses. Receiving federal stimulus funding is critically important to help New York achieve its goal of creating more ‘e-citizens’ who are digitally literate and connected to affordable high-speed Internet services so they can be full participants in the State’s New Digital Economy.”

Some of the goals include of the Governor's plan include:

o Leveraging federal funding to improve broadband infrastructure, increase digital literacy and augment State government programs.

o Providing all New Yorkers access to high speed, affordable broadband services from anywhere, at anytime, by anyone.

o Closing the digital divide and increasing digital literacy by providing training and educational opportunities in unserved and underserved urban and rural communities.

o Fostering economic development and building stronger public/private partnerships.

o Accelerating use of State e-government services offered over the Internet to citizens, businesses and visitors.

In addition to the grant dollars requested, applicants must demonstrate a commitment to provide a 20 percent match to the federal grant received.

On June 8, 2009 Governor Paterson outlined a series of steps to enable New York State to better compete in the new digital economy and create jobs. As a way to spur innovation, the Governor announced the Innovation Grants Program.
The Innovation Grants Program provides a 10 percent match for federal stimulus dollars awarded to federal broadband grant recipients. One hundred million dollars has been allocated to the program which will leverage $1 billion in federal research funding.

Funds from this program are only awarded to successful applicants whose applications are approved by the Governor’s office. The Innovation Grants Program is administered by the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR).

Endorsements from New York Congressional Delegation

Approximately $4 billion is available for award during the first round.
NTIA and RUS accepted applications for broadband stimulus funding during the first round of funding through August 20, 2009. The first award notices are expected to be announced in November 2009. All three funding rounds are expected to be completed by September 2010.

The following statements were given in support of broadband applications: U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said: “The availability of broadband, in a world that is increasingly reliant on high-speed, easily accessible internet, is now more important than ever. Universal high speed internet access is critical to rebuilding our rural economies as wireless networks enable entrepreneurship to flourish and attract new types of cutting-edge, high-tech business.”

U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, said: “To compete and succeed in the 21st century economy, we need to expand broadband to every corner of New York. Investing in broadband will help connect rural families and businesses to the rest of the world with high-speed Internet, help more businesses reach new markets, give our students the education they need to succeed and help rebuild our economy. I will continue working with Governor Paterson, Senator Schumer and our Congressional Delegation to make sure New York gets its fair share from the federal government.”

Congressman Gregory Meeks said: “I commend Governor Paterson in his pursuit to help ensure New York bridges the digital divide by enhancing its broadband penetration and increasing digital literacy. Increased broadband access can have a profound impact for all communities and will help to enhance internet service to schools, healthcare providers, community institutions, and all other members of the community. It is also important in promoting the development of an interoperable public safety network capable of protecting all communities in the event of a domestic emergency. This program will also help to create the necessary jobs that will help increase economic development by establishing public/private partnerships.”

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke said: “As the Chair of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cyber security, Science and Technology, I understand the importance of ensuring that our broadband infrastructure is properly funded in the New York City region. The requested $685 million in federal stimulus grants for broadband services are essential to the economic growth and further development for our city. In underserved urban communities like Brownsville Brooklyn, innovative community-based organizations and providers like OneEconomy are, for the first time, bringing broadband technology to public housing projects, recreational centers, and schools. These grants will help students, families, and job seekers access resources and tools many American's take for granted every day. I welcome these grant funds and applaud the Obama administration for recognizing the importance of broadband expansion in urban areas. I encourage small and minority owned providers to apply for these grants so that residents can finally reap the full benefits of the internet revolution.”

Congressman Eliot Engel said: “Our economic future lies with access to a hi-speed internet and digital literacy and making this future available to all of New York, from Montauk, to Malone, to Buffalo, is crucial. We can leave no community behind if our State is to remain economically strong. Governor Paterson is doing what needs to be done in applying for these grants and I support every effort to bring all of New York into the digital age so we can all share the growth and prosperity this future promises.”

Congresswoman Nita Lowey said: “Access to broadband internet is
increasingly important for our health, education, public safety, social services, and the competitiveness of our businesses. I am pleased the federal stimulus will help our State expand access to this critical tool to underserved communities.”

Congressman Daniel Maffei said: “Expanding broadband access across Upstate will be vital to keeping our region competitive in a global economy. Our students, families, and businesses need to be able to access reliable internet. An investment of stimulus funds in securing broadband access for all New Yorkers will be a good short-term boost to our economy and a very smart long-term investment.”

Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy said: “With broadband technologies increasingly being utilized for educational and business purposes, it is imperative that New Yorkers have access to this exponentially growing field. The Governor’s announcement of stimulus grant applications signals a promising future that will no doubt facilitate economic, social, and educational growth for our State.”

Congressman John M. McHugh said: “I thank the Governor for recognizing
the importance of these projects. Expanding broadband accessibility for residents of Northern and Central New York is critical for economic development. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the State and Federal levels to ensure that all funding options are pursued, particularly in unserved areas of New York State.”

Congressman Michael E. McMahon said: “Access to high-speed Internet service is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity that our businesses and
government agencies rely on to provide efficient and quality service. These stimulus funds will further develop our broadband service – enhancing our public safety and the services provided to the residents of New York, in particular health care and education services. This is a win for the entire State.”

Congressman Scott Murphy said: “Increasing access to broadband technology is critical for preparing our region for the future, and will be an asset to the Upstate New York economy by creating the infrastructure ready for small businesses development. Bringing high-speed internet to underserved areas in the 20th District will not only develop our region, but will allow Upstate New York to become leader in the 21st century economy.”

Congressman Paul Tonko said: “Building a high speed digital infrastructure that is available to all New Yorkers is critical to expanding economic and educational opportunities in our underserved urban and rural communities. I appreciate Governor Paterson’s vision to put New York at the forefront of the new digital economy, and I look forward to helping make that vision a reality.”

Support from New York State Legislature

New York State Senate President Malcolm A. Smith said: “Our citizens must have access to the Internet to prosper and succeed in today’s economy. The federal stimulus program provides funds to make broadband Internet available to communities that have not been served up to now. We must make certain that this essential service is available to all New Yorkers, wherever they live, whether in the North Country or the South Bronx.”

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said: “An important component to revitalizing New York’s economy during this recession is expanding the availability of broadband internet service in underserved areas. I am hopeful that the federal government will consider New York’s need to provide internet access in low-income areas to help improve public safety and health care, where the lack of broadband can hinder the delivery of services. In addition, I am confident that high-speed broadband networks between our SUNY campuses and high tech research centers will stimulate more private sector investment and create more job opportunities.”

Senator Darrel J. Aubertine, Chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, said: “In the modern economy, broadband access is essential to economic development. In our rural communities, affordable high-speed internet access opens up new opportunities for high-tech industries looking to locate in Upstate New York and also for residents looking to earn a living by connecting to urban job markets without leaving the quality of life we enjoy here. This funding for broadband is an investment that will help ensure New York’s future as a leader in the digital economy.”

Assemblyman Richard I. Brodsky said: “Broadband technologies enable the high-speed transmission of electronic information and play a fundamental role in the State’s economy. These broadband services are essential for electronic commerce and telecommuting, and are critical for 21st century learning and medicine. I’d like to thank the Governor for his support of these projects and continuing his commitment to universal broadband in New York State.”

Assemblywoman RoAnn M. Destito said: “Universal, affordable access to high-speed broadband services throughout New York State is essential to expanding our economy and providing services in the 21st Century. These grants will provide for critical investments in education, public safety, public health, economic development and many other fields, and I urge the Federal Government to quickly review and award these grants so that these tremendous benefits can be realized in communities across the State.”

Support from Counties and Economic Developers

Edward Reinfurt, Executive Director of the New York State Foundation for Science, Technology, and Innovation, said: “Governor Paterson’s Innovation Matching Grant Program, which NYSTAR is helping to administer, is the only program in the nation providing a 10 percent match for ARRA grant recipients. The Matching Grant Program is critical in providing New York’s broadband applicants a better opportunity to receive these competitive federal funds. Every state is trying to ensure that its broadband infrastructure is built for the new economy and their citizens are trained to use these technologies to improve their economy and compete globally. These federal awards will assist to provide equal access to all broadband residents and businesses throughout the State.”

Executive Director of the New York State Association of Counties Stephen J. Acquario said: “Together, 36 counties have applied for broadband funding to build enhanced public safety communication systems that will improve interoperability between county, State and local first responders. A statewide comprehensive interoperable public safety communications system will not only improve the safety of New Yorkers, but also complement Governor David Paterson’s efforts to secure federal funding to stimulate our economy and create jobs throughout Upstate New York.”
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