Frequently Asked Questions
What is the New NY Broadband Program?
The New NY Broadband Program is the nation’s largest and most ambitious state investment in broadband expansion. The Program allocates State grant funding to qualified Internet service providers to support projects capable of delivering high-speed Internet access to Unserved and Underserved areas of New York State at speeds of 100 Megabits-per-second (Mbps) in most areas, and 25 Mbps in the most remote areas. The Program funds up to 80% of capital expenditures for the construction of new or upgraded broadband networks, the vast majority of which utilize Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH), with a required private-sector co-investment. To date, the Program has formed public-private partnerships with 34 companies across the State, from family-owned telephone companies to nationally recognized telecom firms.
How is funding awarded through the New NY Broadband Program?
Broadband providers and organizations applied for State grant funding on a competitive basis to deploy broadband infrastructure to Unserved and Underserved Census Blocks (CB) throughout the State. The Program allocated State grant funding through an innovative “reverse auction” method, which selected those projects providing broadband access at the lowest State Investment per location passed. Funding is distributed to awarded providers on a reimbursement basis. Nearly 90 percent of all State grant funding has been dedicated to projects that will address Unserved areas of the State, connecting these areas for the first time.
How does the New NY Broadband Program identify areas to fund?
The Broadband Program Office (BPO) designates eligible Unserved and Underserved areas on a Census Block (CB) basis using broadband availability data from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a base layer. The BPO then incorporates additional data to provide enhanced availability information, such as prior State grant awards, provider service commitments, and confidential information received from Charter Communications. An “Unserved” area is defined as an area where the fastest available advertised Internet download speed offered by a wireline-based provider is less than 25 Mbps. An “Underserved” area is defined as an area where broadband service is only available from a wireline-based provider at advertised Internet download speeds between 25 Mbps and 99 Mbps. Broadband speed and availability data is sourced directly from the FCC’s Fixed Form 477 Broadband Deployment Data - December 2016 (version 1). For an explanation of the data, click here.
Further, recognizing the limitations of the FCC’s one-served/all-served methodology, the Broadband Program Office (BPO) encouraged applicants to seek funding to address identified Unserved or Underserved locations within any Served CB on the BPO’s list of eligible CBs.
Why did my location not receive an award from the New NY Broadband Program?
All Unserved and Underserved Census Blocks statewide were eligible for funding through the New NY Broadband Program, except where the Broadband Program Office identified a commitment for broadband service outside the Program. The Broadband Program Office (BPO) removed Census Blocks (CB) from our Program where an existing provider certified that it serves or would commit to serve the CB with high-speed Internet.
Further, the New NY Broadband Program was structured to work in conjunction with Charter Communications’ New York State Broadband Expansion Plan (as discussed below), though which the company is deploying new broadband access to 145,000 locations under conditions established by the New York State Public Service Commission. These locations were removed from eligibility within the Program, as to not allocate scarce funding to an area where a commitment to deliver broadband already exists.
Who is the awarded provider for my location and/or municipality?
To identify the Broadband Program Office (BPO) awardee providing access to broadband to your location, you may consult the Broadband Availability Map or Residential Broadband Search tool. Query your address, and consult the tab for “BPO Award” in the Results section. If the results do not include a “BPO Award”, your location has not been awarded through the Program. Note that the presence of a BPO Award at your location does not guarantee that service is available today. BPO Awards are currently being deployed according to Phase-specific timelines (as discussed below; "What is the status...").
The “Currently Available Broadband” tab in the Results section represents service currently available at your location according to FCC data and does not represent broadband service being deployed as a result of the New NY Broadband Program. To identify the BPO awardee providing service to a specific municipality, you may query the County in which the municipality is located on the “All Phases by Municipality” page of our website – available here. The Results will indicate which provider(s) has been awarded within all affected municipalities in the County.
What level of service (i.e., speed, technology) will the awarded provider be deploying to my location?
To identify which technology (Fiber-to-the-Home, Fixed Wireless, DSL, Satellite) is being utilized by the applicable provider at your address, you may consult the Broadband Availability Map or Residential Broadband Search tool. Query your address, and view the tabs for “Technology” and/or “Download Speed” in the Results section.
What are the customer costs associated with New NY Broadband Program projects?
Awarded providers must offer a required Broadband Pricing Tier (the “Required Pricing Tier”) as a service option to all residential users that delivers minimum Internet download speeds of at least 25 Mbps, at a monthly rate not to exceed $60, adjustable based on the cost of inflation in accordance with the terms of the Program Guidelines.
This $60 rate should include connection fees, standard modem equipment, and/or surcharges that exist at the time of the application; however, it may exclude a one-time installation fee. The installation fee may not exceed $49 (regardless of whether the fee is paid in one or over several installments), except where providing service to a customer would require the applicant to make a connection in excess of 300-feet, measured as the offset from the road to the typical termination point on the customer’s premises. In such cases, the awarded provider may charge a custom installation fee in excess of $49.
It is anticipated that awarded providers will offer additional service options alongside the Required Pricing Tier.
The Broadband Availability Map and/or Residential Broadband Search indicates that a broadband provider(s) provides service at my address. When I contact that provider, it states that it does not provide service at my address. Why is this?
The broadband service availability and characteristics represented on the Broadband Availability Map and Residential Broadband Search tool are derived from the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Fixed Form 477 Broadband Deployment Data - December 2016 (version 1) which includes biannual broadband service provider submissions. The FCC uses a one-served, all-served method for identifying Census Block service, and, therefore, actual service may vary within and along Census Blocks. A provider that reports deployment of a particular technology and bandwidth in a particular Census Bock may not necessarily offer that particular service everywhere in the Census Block. Accordingly, a list of providers deployed in a Census Block does not necessarily reflect the number of choices available to any particular household or business location in that block. Because of this method, in some areas, the Broadband Program Office (BPO) awards may fund unserved or underserved locations within a Census Block that appears to have existing access to 100 Mbps. The raw data can be downloaded here.
What is the status of New NY Broadband Program projects?
Awarded providers for Phase 1 & 2 projects, announced in 2016 and 2017, respectively, are now offering broadband service to the vast majority of locations associated with their buildouts. Locations within Phase 1 & 2 awarded territories may contact the awarded provider for a service installation or an update on the project. Phase 3 projects are currently underway. Once network construction is complete, awarded providers are required to market the availability of grant-funded service within the project footprint, and begin connecting customers. You may contact the awarded provider at your location to inquire about the project and the availability of service.
To the extent your location is addressed by a BPO award, you may identify the Program Phase associated with the award by consulting the Broadband Availability Map. Query your address, and click the link contained in the “About BPO Awards” tab of the Results section.
Why has my location been awarded to Hughes Network Systems to provide satellite service?
New NY Broadband Program awards were allocated through a competitive reverse-auction process on an REDC basis, and Hughes was awarded Unserved Census Blocks, in general, where there were no other fully-qualifying bids, or where there was insufficient Program funding.
How will the grant-funded service provided by Hughes Network Systems differ from the company’s current commercial offerings?
New NY Broadband Program funding will enable Hughes to deploy its new Gen5 satellite broadband service offering download speeds of at least 25 Mbps to the awarded Census Blocks.
The grant-supported service plans to be offered by Hughes in awarded Census Blocks are described below. Once the service plans are made available, constituents may contact Hughes to determine their eligibility for grant-supported service and subscribe. As required by the Program, both of these plans will deliver Internet speeds of at least 25/3 Mbps (download/upload) for a monthly rate not to exceed $60 with an installation fee not to exceed $49, much lower rates than Hughes’ current commercial pricing for the Gen5 service.
- 100 Gigabyte (GB) Plan – Available pursuant to the New NY Broadband Program; Monthly data allowance of 100 GB (20 GB between 8am-2am, 80 GB off-peak)
- 150 Gigabyte (GB) Plan – To be offered in Census Blocks that receive Connect America Fund Support; Monthly data allowance of 150 GB (100 GB between 8am-2am, 50 GB off-peak)
Each plan will have a monthly usage allowance. Exceeding a monthly data allowance may result in Hughes slowing service, however, users will have unlimited data at the reduced speed for no additional cost. Hughes has committed to use best efforts to deliver download speeds of 3 Mbps where a user’s data allowance is exceeded, but actual speeds may vary based on traffic levels. Additionally, for the grant-supported service, Hughes has committed to meet a minimum latency standard of 95% or more of all peak period measurements of network round trip latency less than 1 second.
It is anticipated that Hughes will also offer additional service plans at different price points.
I am an existing customer with Hughes Network Systems. Will I be able to sign-up for a grant-funded service package once it is available?
Existing Hughes customers located within Census Blocks where Hughes has been awarded funding will be able to subscribe to the grant-funded service.
When will the grant-supported Hughes service be made available? How can I sign up?
The New NY Broadband Program grant-supported Hughes broadband service plans are not currently available, but Hughes anticipates that it will begin offering them in early 2019.
To see if your location will be eligible for grant-supported service from Hughes, please visit the Broadband Program Office’s Residential Broadband Search tool and enter your address. If the results include a “BPO Award” for Hughes Network Systems, indicated by a star symbol, then your location will be eligible.
Sign-up details and contact information for eligible customers will be forthcoming.
What is Charter Communications’ New York State Broadband Expansion Plan?
In 2016, Charter Communications acquired Time Warner Cable. In approving this merger, the New York State Public Service Commission established a number of conditions relating to Charter’s improvement and expansion of broadband service across the State. Among these conditions, Charter has committed to offer upgraded broadband service – to download speeds of 100 Megabits per-second (Mbps) by the end of 2018, and 300 Mbps by the end of 2019 – to customers across its existing statewide network. Charter has also committed to extend its network to pass an additional 145,000 locations without broadband access at no State cost on a four-year schedule. You may view the merger conditions here.
Please note that Charter Communications is not a participant in the New NY Broadband Program. Inquiries regarding the Charter build out should be directed to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC). If you would like to reach out to the PSC with any questions regarding the Charter build out, you may do so at email@example.com or 1-800-342-3377.
Will Charter Communications provide service to my location?
Charter Communications has created an Address Look-Up Portal where New Yorkers may see if their address is part of the company’s New York State Broadband Expansion Plan.
The full details of Charter’s Broadband Expansion Plan, including the addresses and municipalities to be built out and the timeframes associated therewith, have been filed with the Public Service Commission as proprietary and confidential. Charter will share this confidential data with affected municipalities provided that the requesting entity enters into a Non-Disclosure Agreement with Charter.
Elected officials who wish to contact Charter about executing a Non-Disclosure Agreement on behalf of a municipality and reviewing the Broadband Expansion Plan may reach out to the Broadband Program Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected with Charter.
I have additional questions about the Program and/or coverage to my location.
To the extent individual residents have additional questions about coverage for their specific location, they should inquire with the Broadband Program Office at email@example.com about the address.