Ortt, Senate Republicans want new broadband money for underserved areas

Posted 10 July 2023 at 9:49 pm

Press Release, State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt

New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt and members of the Senate Republican Conference today sent a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul, urging her to prioritize unserved and underserved communities throughout New York State when allocating the federal high-speed internet grants that were announced recently.

The federal government announced a $42.5 billion multi-state allocation to bring affordable and reliable high-speed internet service to every community in the nation. New York State is expected to receive nearly $665 million in funding to help expand affordable and reliable internet access.

Many communities, particularly rural upstate communities, still have no access or very limited access to high-speed internet despite investments that were intended to ensure broadband access in every corner of the state.

Many communities were left out when the previous programs were rolled out and still remain without access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet today. In order to not repeat the shortcomings of previous broadband programs, the Senate Republican Conference is advocating that the Executive ensure these communities are prioritized when dispersing these newly announced federal funds.

“Today, more than ever, access to high-speed internet is a necessity for work, school, and more. We cannot rely upon the creativity of local communities to ensure people have access. We have a responsibility to find a permanent solution. This recent announcement of funding provides an opportunity to solve this problem and ensure all unserved and underserved New Yorkers have access to high-speed internet,” the Senators wrote.