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Lawsuit seeks to delay broadband bids

May 10, 2016 12:02 am

Rick Karlin is reporting in the Times Union lawyer Peter Henner from New Scotland has filed suit in State Supreme Court in Albany County to halt the review of bids in the Cuomo administration's $500-million program to expand broadband access across the state. Henner alleges the guidelines used by Empire State Development to award the competitive bids were based on unreasonable grounds and without proper consideration. The broadband initiative is promoted as an effort to expand the number of New Yorkers who get broadband service,. The state will provide grants to entities that can bring broadband to those who are under-served or not served. Henner and other critics are concerned the program could allow bidders to skip areas or regions that are remote and costly to reach. "Millions of New Yorkers do not have access to a reasonable Internet connection, which is synonymous with access to broadband. These New Yorkers are severely disadvantaged," Henner wrote. Henner also mentioned in court papers several residents within the greater Capital Region currently without broadband, which complicates their ability to operate businesses. Judith Elliot-Brown of Greenville, works with computer-aided design files, but is hindered by the slowness of her satellite Internet link. She lives less than a mile from a line operated by Mid-Hudson Cable. Another company, 4750 Realty, has manufacturing space in Durham. But they were told that getting high-speed Internet there would require a $15,000 installation fee and a five-year, $9,000-per-year commitment. Read the full story in the Times Union.

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