Volume 6, Issue 3
February 7, 2014

Broadband Flash Bulletin 

In This Issue
to Broadband
Task Force 


Subscribe to the

NYS Broadband

Flash Bulletin  

Join Our Mailing List
 Quick Links
Like us on Facebook
null Follow us on Twitter



NYS 2012-13 Broadband Annual Report

Tell Us About
Your Internet
upcomingeventsUpcoming Events


Wayne County 
Rural Broadband and Internet Connectivity 
Access Event

Hosted by Represent-ative Maffei, the NYS Broadband Program Office will participate in an event to discuss the issues of Rural Broadband and Internet Connectivity Access with local community stake- holders in Wayne and Cayuga Counties.


Date and Time:  

Tuesday, February 18
at 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM



The Library of Red Creek High School, 6574 South St, Red Creek, NY 13143


For more information: 

Jeremy R. Bennett,

Grants Director & Special Projects,




According to Akamai's State of the Internet Q3 Report, the U.S. has shot up rapidly in its adoption of high-speed broadband, up to 20 percent in some states.

The biggest difference can be seen in the country's overall average connection speed, which increased to 9.8 Mbps. The boost means that 49 out of 50 states have increased their average connection speeds since Q3 2012 - Vermont is the only exception, down almost 10 percent from 2012.

Akamai attributed the increase to an uptake of high broadband (speeds over 10 Mbps) across the country, up more than 20 percent in some states. While the U.S. remains unable to crack the top 10 nations for peak speeds, the 40 percent increase in high broadband adoption means it ranks eighth in the world for broadband activity above 10 Mbps.


To read the report,  



taskforceNew York State Broadband Office Appoints Members of the
  State's First Broadband 
Availability and Adoption Task Force


Last week, the New York State Broadband Program Office, held the first meetings of the newly formed Broadband Availability and Broadband Adoption Task Forces.  These committees were created to explore opportunities to break down barriers that will expand broadband access and adoption in New York State. 


These meetings continued the dialogue, which was established during the Provider and Adoption Partner Roundtable event held in November 2013. It also builds on the work that was done during New York's State's first Broadband Summit held last summer in Albany, New York. 


Chaired by David Salway, Director of the NYS Broadband Program Office, the task force committees consist of members from local and state government; representatives from the broadband provider community; adoption partners, including state agency executives, other public and private partners, higher education, and subject matter experts. The members were appointed to the Task Forces in early January by the Broadband Program Office. To view the list of members appointed to the task forces for 2014 visit http://nysbroadband.ny.gov/nys-broadband-taskforces.


"Broadband is a critical engine for communities to enhance social and economic well-being, and a vital resource to educate our youth, create jobs, promote public safety, and deliver essential services such as healthcare," said Mr. Salway. "I want to thank our partners who are participating in this initiative.  Implementing programs and policies that address broadband challenges requires significant collaboration from many sectors. In partnership with the New York State Broadband Program Office, the NYS Broadband Availability and Adoption Task Forces will help identify opportunities and build strong partnerships to enhance broadband deployment and adoption."


Approximately 1 million New Yorkers, or 500,000 households, still lack access to broadband.  The mission of the NYS Availability Task Force is to accelerate broadband access for all New Yorkers, and build a stronger New York economy. 


During the first Broadband Availability Task Force meeting, members identified existing broadband deployment challenges to develop strategic planning guidelines that will result in a consistent and streamlined process for improved broadband access.  


In addition to access, barriers to entry, such as affordability and digital literacy, prevent approximately 30% of New Yorkers from subscribing to broadband.  Studies continually demonstrate a close correlation between increased utilization and degree of economic development.  Simply put, increasing broadband adoption directly impacts economic development.  The mission of the NYS Broadband Adoption Task Force is to stimulate demand for broadband services by developing strategies to address affordability, awareness, digital literacy, and the utilization of broadband for commercial and institutional use. 


Among the objectives of the Broadband Adoption Task Force is to expand opportunities for all New Yorkers to use broadband at home and in their communities.  During the first meeting, members discussed developing digital literacy standards and proposed policy recommendations to achieve increased use through education, collaboration and partnerships.


Bridging the digital divide requires close collaboration with the public sector, non-profit entities, and broadband providers. Both Task Forces were created as an extension of the Broadband Program Office, and are not policy making entities, but designed as working groups to advance and coordinate efforts between stakeholders. The partnerships and policy recommendations advanced by these Task Forces will extend the reach of broadband projects, and facilitate future broadband deployment.


For more information on the Broadband Availability and Broadband Adoption Task Forces visit http://nysbroadband.ny.gov/nys-broadband-taskforces. 

connectedPresident Obama Announces Components
of the ConnectEd Program 


President Obama announced changes to the FCC's E-Rate program (ConnectED), which are designed to provide high-speed Internet connectivity and educational technology to 99% of U.S. classrooms within 5-years, or sooner.  


As part of the program, the FCC will modernize the current E-Rate program. ConnectEd will double funding for broadband access in schools and libraries to connect 20 million more students to next-generation broadband and wireless, beginning in 2014. The increased funding will be used to improve broadband speeds and deliver wireless networks in schools, but will not require an increase to the current fees paid by telephone companies to support the program.  This year, the majority of the doubled funding - from $1 billion to $2 billion - will come from leftover funds.


Bringing high-speed Internet service to libraries and schools has been a top priority for the Obama administration.  "The issues being discussed today are a BIG DEAL and are a top priority for me and our Commission. During my tenure as Chairman of the FCC there may be no bigger and more significant issue than making sure our schools and libraries are connected to high-speed broadband networks. That is why E-Rate modernization is at the top of my agenda and why I support President Obama's goal of connecting 99 percent of all students to high-speed broadband capacity in five years - or faster," said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.


Designed to start immediately, the following are components of the E-Rate 2.0 program: 

  • Available funds will increase to $2B due to increased efficiencies and use of reserve funds
  • Libraries will be eligible for E-Rate 2.0 funds, whereas the current E-Rate program only provides 50% of total funds for broadband, with much of that supporting speeds much lower than 100 Mbps
  • E-Rate 2.0 will prioritize funding for joint applications (school partnerships to leverage funding and buying power)
  • FCC will remove bureaucratic delays to make applying and receiving funds more efficient   
  • FCC will seek comments on how to further improve the program in 2015

A number of broadband providers are pledging to support the President's ConnectED program.  Over $750 million in private-sector commitments to deliver cutting-edge technologies to classrooms; including devices, free software, teacher professional development, and home wireless connectivity.  These commitments include:  

  • Apple - Pledged $100 million in iPads, MacBooks, and other products along with content and professional development tools to enrich learning in disadvantaged schools 
  • AT&T - Pledged over $100 million to provide middle-school students free Internet connectivity for educational devices over their wireless network for three years
  • Autodesk - Pledged to expand the company's "Design the Future" program to be available to every secondary school in the country - offering services, valued at over $250 million, free of charge.
  • Microsoft - Committed to launch a substantial affordability program open to all U.S. public schools by deeply discounting the price of its Windows operating system, which will substantially bring down the cost of Windows-based devices. 
  • O'Reilly Media - Partnering with Safari Books Online to make over $100 million in educational content and tools available, for free, to every school in America 
  • Sprint - Committed to offer free wireless service for up to 50,000 low-income high school students over the next four years, valued at $100 million 
  • Verizon - Announced a multi-year program to support the ConnectED vision through up to $100 million in cash and in-kind commitments

Governor Cuomo has also placed an emphasis on equipping NY students with the tools they need to succeed within the 21st century economy, and high speed broadband services is just one of those essential tools. In January, during his State of the State Address, Governor Cuomo proposed a "Smart Schools" bond referendum. The $2B Smart Schools Initiative will revolutionize education through technological advancement; enable students' access to state-of-the-art classrooms; and support long-term investments in proven programs.  This initiative will not only bring broadband and technology into the schools, but will also expand high-speech Internet services throughout communities within the school districts. 


To read the FCC's announcement visit 



For a complete transcript of Governor Cuomo's 2014 State of the State Address,visit
akwesasneBroadband Providers Present
Options to Akwesasne Community


The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has secured broadband services for the Akwesasne community. This project effort began in 2009, after the tribe was awarded funding through the USDA, Rural Utility Services, Broadband Division. Brenna Susice, Project Manager of the tribe's Broadband team, has spearheaded The Broadband Initiative Project (BIP), since its inception.


Part of this process required local residents to participate in a test group, which concluded this month, in an effort to select a service provider. The Tribe has since contracted with Flint Communications and Wideband Networks. Throughout this testing phase, community members provided feedback pertaining to the quality and speed of voice and data services.


Flint Communications and Wideband Networks will pool resources to supply the fiber and infrastructure to support the network. Each provider, however, will offer their customers unique packages and pricing. 


This award has helped Akwesasne make significant progress. They are the first to bring fiber-optic technology to the area. As such, this technology will help promote economic development, boost employment, and create educational opportunities within the community.


For further information on the program, please contact the Akwesasne Broadband Initiatives Project Office at (518) 358-2105

The New York State Broadband Program Office serves as the single point of contact for New York State broadband development and deployment efforts.  The Broadband Flash Bulletin is intended to keep you up-to-date on local, state and federal broadband initiatives. I hope you enjoy reading this issue of the NYS Broadband Flash Bulletin.
The NYS Broadband Program Office