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December 30, 2013

New York Rolling Out Fiber to Rural Areas of the State

By Oliver VanDervoort
Contributing Writer

In the 21st century, there are few technologies that are as highly sought after as broadband Internet access. One reason why the tech is so popular is because the original rollout of the truly high speed dark fiber has been slow. As different parts of the country eventually get it, other parts realize they are falling behind when it comes to luring in businesses and residents. The state of New York seems to understand just how lucrative an area of the state can become if it has access to truly high speed Internet. This realization has led to Governor Andrew Cuomo to award more than $14.5 million to nine different upstate projects all aimed at rolling out dark fiber and broadband Internet to places it’s not currently available.

When all is said and done, the state says that the project will lay about 614 miles of new fiber. That fiber will bring another 29,000 homes and 2,000 business onto the web using high-speed broadband service. Most of the nine different projects are going to take place in rural areas of New York State known as the Southern Tier and the North Country.

“These grants will connect underserved and rural communities to the many benefits of broadband access, including giving local businesses the opportunity to reach consumers from around the world,” Cuomo said in a recent statement.

The state should take care not to invest too much, too soon, or in areas that can’t really take advantage of the high tech fiber. A small town in Tennessee can give a first-hand account of spending entirely too much money to get high speed Internet. Businesses were expected to move into the area almost immediately. The businesses didn’t come and the taxpayers are literally paying the price of the dark fiber rollout. New York certainly has deeper pockets than one Tennessee town and it also seems to have used better planning. The state set aside $25 million for projects just like these in 2012.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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