State official will discuss broadband initiative today at fairgrounds

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 March 2015 at 12:00 am

KNOWLESVILLE – Orleans County officials and residents can hear about a $500 million state proposal to expand broadband Internet throughout the state, including in rural pockets that do not have reliable service.

David Salway, director of NYS Broadband Program Office, will be at the 4-H Fairgrounds today at 10 a.m. to discuss the initiative. He will be at the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension on Route 31.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing for $500 million in state funds for internet service providers willing to match the state dollar-for-dollar. The companies will be required to offer 100 megabits per second download speeds for the expansion, however “in certain limited cases, providers may offer 25 Mbps speeds to the most remote unserved and underserved areas of the state,” Cuomo said in January.

Orleans and Niagara counties have been working together to improve broadband service in the two counties, especially in the sparsely populated rural areas.