New York Gets $170.4 Million CAF Phase II Funding for its Broadband Program

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The FCC granted the State of New York (State) a waiver of the Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II auction rules to allow it use $170.4 million dollars declined by Verizon in New York in connection with its NY Broadband Program (Program). The State requested a waiver of the FCC’s CAF Phase II competitive bidding rules to make the entire amount of CAF funding declined by Verizon available for allocation outside of the CAF Phase II auction as part of its own upcoming competitive reverse auction. The State argued that without the waiver, the FCC’s competitive bidding rules could result in New York receiving none of the funding originally offered to Verizon for use in New York. In January 2015, the State launched its Program allocating $500 million dollars for broadband services to be disbursed through a competitive bidding process in New York. The Program also requires participants to contribute funds. The FCC determined that the waiver, subject to certain conditions, would serve the public interest by promoting the rapid deployment of advanced broadband services to unserved areas and the efficient use of CAF Phase II support. The FCC will make available the $170.4 million declined by Verizon for New York, to applicants selected in the State’s Program. This proceeding became extremely political with bi-partisan support from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer and United States Representative Chris Collins.

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