Broadband initiatives affected by federal funding woes

CHENANGO COUNTY – Counties across New York may have trouble connecting to more than $170 million in federal funds for the purpose of making high speed internet access available in rural areas.

In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer explained that the money, which was set aside for Upstate New York to expand broadband and high speed internet service, could be sent to other parts of the county because Verizon refused to participate in the “Connect America Fund,” a public-private partnership that uses taxpayer dollars to leverage private investments for high speed internet infrastructure.

Because Verizon did not accept money allocated through the Connect America Fund, the FCC is proposing to bid that money out to other states. But Schumer argues that money should stay in New York and be made available to other companies for the same purpose.

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