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Friday, January 16, 2015
According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office, the vast majority of upstate residents do not have access to broadband Internet at 100 Mbps, including all of Niagara County. He aims to change that by 2019. (CONTRIBUTED GRAPHIC)


ALBANY — The third step of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2015 Opportunity Agenda was unveiled today: High-speed internet access across the state.

The $1 billion broadband program would leverage both public and private resources to ensure every New Yorker has access to high-speed internet — of 100 Mbps — by 2019.

“Access to high-speed internet is critical to ensuring that all New Yorkers can reach their full potential in today’s technology-driven world,” Cuomo said this morning. “We’re launching the largest state broadband investment in the nation in order to make that goal a reality. This is a truly bold undertaking that will improve the lives of New Yorkers in every corner of the state, and I am proud to make it a priority of our administration’s second term agenda.”

According to the governor's office, more than one million New Yorkers and 4,000 businesses cannot get access to broadband at the state’s previously established minimum speed standards of 6 Mbps download and 1.5 Mbps upload – speeds that are already too slow. This fact holds true for 3 percent of Niagara County residents.

Additionally, seven million New Yorkers and 113,000 businesses and 2,000 public schools cannot get access to broadband at 100 Mbps — the minimum speed a 2014 survey of economic developers said was needed to attract and grow businesses. This includes 70 percent of Upstate New Yorkers and all of Niagara County, according to the governor's office. Nearly 500 public schools have no broadband service at all.

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