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SECTION 16-GG*2
Division of Broadband Access
Urban Development Corporation Act 174/68 (UDA) CHAPTER INTRO
* § 16-gg. Division of Broadband Access. 1. Statement of Legislative
findings and purpose. The legislature hereby finds and declares that:
access to high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband is essential
for education, economic growth, and full participation in civic life;
the persistence of the digital divide is a key barrier to improving the
general welfare; the digital divide disproportionately affects
communities of color, lower-income areas, rural areas, and other
vulnerable populations, and the benefits of broadband access should be
available to all; a robust and competitive internet marketplace in New
York supports general economic development and benefits New Yorkers with
improved internet service and affordability; the state has a
responsibility to assist in ending the digital divide, supporting a more
robust and competitive internet marketplace, and carrying out other
actions to ensure universal access to high-speed, reliable, and
affordable broadband.

2. Definitions. The following definitions shall apply throughout this
section unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(a) "Advisory committee" or "committee" shall mean the broadband
development advisory committee created by this section.

(b) "Broadband", "broadband service", or "broadband internet" means a
mass-market retail service by wire or radio that provides the capability
to transmit data to and receive data from all or substantially all
internet endpoints, including any capabilities that are incidental to
and enable the operation of the communications service, but excluding
dial-up internet access service.

(c) "Commissioner" shall mean the commissioner of economic
development.

(d) "Director" shall mean the director of the division of broadband
access.

(e) "Division" means the division of broadband access created by this
section.

(f) "Unserved location" means a broadband-serviceable location, as
determined by the division, that has no access to broadband service or
lacks access to reliable broadband service at 25 megabits per second for
downloads and 3 megabits per second upload speed.

(g) "Underserved location" means a broadband-serviceable location, as
determined by the division, that only has access to broadband service of
at least 25 megabits per second but less than 100 megabits per second
download speed and at least 3 megabits per second but less than 20
megabits per second upload speed.

(h) Should the division determine that the definitions under
paragraphs (f) and (g) of this subdivision concerning download and
upload speeds be outdated as a result of advancements in broadband
technological capabilities or standards, such download and upload speeds
established under this section shall be superseded by guidelines, rules,
or regulations established by the division; provided that the download
and upload speeds included in the definitions shall not be reduced.

3. Division of broadband access; director; employees. There is hereby
created within the department of economic development a division of
broadband access. The head of such office shall hold the title of
director and be appointed by the commissioner, and shall hold office at
the pleasure of the commissioner.

4. Powers and duties of the division of broadband development. The
division shall have the power to:

(a) Coordinate the activities of all state agencies performing
functions affecting access to high-speed, reliable, and affordable
broadband.

(b) Conduct research and analyses of matters affecting access to
high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband.

(c) Advise and make recommendations to the commissioner on matters
affecting access to high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband.

(d) Provide advisory assistance to municipalities, state and local
authorities, and other entities to expand access to high-speed,
reliable, and affordable broadband.

(e) Establish and implement programs, including grant programs, to
expand access to high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband,
including but not limited to: programs to improve broadband access at
unserved and underserved locations; programs to deploy broadband
infrastructure owned or managed by municipalities, state and local
authorities, entities established pursuant to section 99-y of the
general municipal law, or not-for-profit entities; programs to deploy
innovative broadband technologies and means to improve broadband access;
including in low-income areas; programs to improve digital equity,
digital inclusion, and digital literacy.

(f) Take additional actions the division deems necessary to expand
access to high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband.

5. Rules and regulations. The commissioner may adopt any necessary
rules, regulations, or guidelines to effectuate the purposes of the
division. Notwithstanding any conflicting provision of this article, the
commissioner may adopt any necessary rules, regulations, or guidelines
for state participation in federal broadband programs consistent with
the requirements set forth under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs
Act, American Rescue Plan Act, Digital Equity Act, or any other federal
program determined as directly relevant to increasing access to
high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband by the commissioner.

6. Broadband access advisory committee. (a) There is hereby created in
the division of broadband access a broadband development advisory
committee. The committee shall consist of 16 members, four of which are
to be appointed by the governor, one of which is to be appointed by the
speaker of the assembly, and one of which is to be appointed by the
temporary president of the senate. The commissioners, or designees
thereof, of the department of public service, department of labor,
department of transportation, office of general services, department of
economic development, department of homeland security and emergency
services, division of housing and community renewal, and education
department, the president of the New York power authority, and the
director of the division of the budget shall serve as ex-officio
members. The governor shall designate a chairperson from the members of
the advisory committee, to serve as such at the pleasure of the
governor. In appointing the members of the advisory committee the
governor shall ensure that at least one member is an individual
representing a telecommunications union, at least one member is an
individual with substantial expertise in tribal affairs, and two of the
members are individuals who have substantial expertise in
telecommunications policy, broadband development, grant-making, or
internet regulation, of which one shall have expertise on service
providers with over 100,000 subscribers in New York state and one shall
have expertise on service providers with less than 100,000 subscribers
in New York state.

(b) All members of the advisory committee, other than the ex-officio
members, shall serve for terms of three years, such term shall commence
on the first day the committee is convened. Any vacancies occurring
otherwise than by expiration of term shall be filled in the same manner
as original appointments for the balance of the unexpired term.

(c) The advisory committee shall meet at least twice in each calendar
year. Special meetings may be called by its chairperson and shall be
called by the chairperson at the request of the director of the division
of broadband access.

(d) No member of the advisory committee shall be disqualified from
holding any other public office, nor forfeit any such office by reason
of appointment hereunder, notwithstanding the provisions of any general,
special or local law, ordinance or city charter, provided however that
members appointed by the governor, speaker of the assembly, or temporary
president of the senate shall be considered state officers and subject
to the provisions of paragraph (a) of subdivision 8 of section 73 of the
public officers law.

(e) The members of the advisory committee shall receive no
compensation for their services but shall be allowed their actual and
necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties
hereunder.

(f) The committee shall:

(i) advise the director in carrying out the functions, powers and
duties of the division, as set forth in this article.

(ii) advise the director, the governor, and the legislature concerning
policy changes necessary to promote expansion and development of access
to high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband.

(iii) advise the director, the governor, and the legislature
concerning existing policies of state agencies which may be
counter-productive or inimical to promote expansion and deployment of
high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband.

(iv) advise the director, the governor, and the legislature concerning
the development of inter-governmental cooperation among agencies of the
federal, state, and local governments and cooperation between private
industry and government so as to promote expansion, deployment and
continued provision of high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband.

(v) advise the director, the governor, and the legislature on issues
related to fostering consumer choice, increasing competition in the
broadband industry, and promoting open-access infrastructure.

(vi) advise the director, in consultation with the division of
broadband access, on potential guidelines or regulations for
implementation of broadband-related programs.

(vii) advise the director, the governor, and the legislature on
policies related to the deployment of wireless and cellular services,
including deployment of small cell networks for access to 5G services.

(viii) advise the director on policies to reduce regulatory obstacles
and streamline regulations to promote access to high-speed, reliable,
and affordable broadband.

(ix) advise the director on policies to maximize access to high-speed,
reliable, and affordable broadband in affordable housing projects.

(x) advise the director on policies relevant to ensuring that senior
citizens have access to high-speed, reliable, and affordable broadband.

(xi) make periodic recommendations as to updates to the broadband
report required by the Comprehensive Broadband Connectivity Act.

7. ConnectAll deployment program. The ConnectAll deployment program is
hereby established to provide grant funding to construct infrastructure
necessary to provide broadband services to unserved and underserved
locations in the state. Grants issued pursuant to this program shall
facilitate projects that, at a minimum, provide reliable internet
service with consistent speeds of at least 100 megabits per second for
download and at least 20 megabits per second for upload, unless this
requirement is waived for a specific project or location and a different
speed level is approved by the division, but under no circumstances less
than 25 megabits per second download and 3 megabits per second upload;
provided further that applicants for grant funding under this section
may include incorporated organizations, Native American tribes or tribal
organizations, local units of government, or a group of any of the above
entities; provided further that an applicant for grant funding under
this section shall demonstrate suitable fiscal, technical, operational,
and management capabilities as determined by the division; provided
further that an applicant for grant funding under this section shall
provide certifications as to compliance with relevant safety standards
as determined by the division, including the National Electrical Safety
Code; provided further that an applicant for grant funding under this
section shall provide certifications as to compliance with relevant
workplace protections as determined by the division including the
Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and New York State labor and
employment laws; provided further that an applicant for grant funding
under this section shall submit to the division a workforce plan in a
format determined by the division which, to the extent practicable,
shall include: (a) information relating to whether the construction
workforce will be directly employed or subcontracted; (b) the
anticipated size of the workforce required to carry out the proposed
work; (c) a description of plans to maximize use of local or regional
workforce; and (d) a description of the expected workforce safety
standards and training to ensure the project is completed at a high
standard. The division shall establish the procedures to solicit,
receive and evaluate applications for the program consistent with rules,
regulations, or guidelines established by the commissioner; provided
that preference shall be given to applications that: (a) are capable of
delivering speeds of 1 gigabit per second download and 1 gigabit per
second upload to the end user; (b) provide service to locations in
unserved areas as determined by the division; (c) commit not to impose
caps on data usage on the service provided to the end-user or to block,
throttle, or prioritize internet content in the general course of
business; and (d) have and commit to maintaining high standards of
workplace safety practices, training, certification or licensure for all
relevant workers, and compliance with state and federal workplace
protections.

8. ConnectAll municipal assistance program. The ConnectAll municipal
assistance program is hereby established to provide grant funding to
municipalities, state and local authorities, and entities established
pursuant to section 99-y of the general municipal law to plan and
construct infrastructure necessary to provide broadband services,
support the adoption of broadband services, or other purposes for
maximizing the effectiveness of municipal broadband programs as
determined by the division. For the purposes of broadband
infrastructure, such grants issued pursuant to this program shall
facilitate projects that, at a minimum, provide reliable internet
service with consistent speeds of at least 100 megabits per second for
download and at least 20 megabits per second for upload, unless this
requirement is waived for a specific project or location and a different
speed level is approved by the division, but under no circumstances less
than 25 megabits per second download and 3 megabits per second upload;
provided further that an applicant for grant funding under this section
shall demonstrate suitable fiscal, technical, operational, and
management capabilities as determined by the division; provided further
that an applicant for grant funding under this section shall provide
certifications as to compliance with relevant safety standards as
determined by the division, including the National Electrical Safety
Code; provided further that an applicant for grant funding under this
section shall provide certifications as to compliance with relevant
workplace protections as determined by the division including the
Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title
VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and New York state labor and
employment laws; provided further that an applicant for grant funding
under this section shall submit to the division a workforce plan in a
format determined by the division which, to the extent practicable,
shall include: (a) information relating to whether the construction
workforce will be directly employed or subcontracted; (b) the
anticipated size of the workforce required to carry out the proposed
work; (c) a description of plans to maximize use of local or regional
workforce; and (d) a description of the expected workforce safety
standards and training to ensure the project is completed at a high
standard. The division shall establish the procedures to solicit,
receive and evaluate proposals for the program consistent with, rules,
regulations, or guidelines established by the commissioner; provided
that preference shall be given to applications that: (a) are capable of
delivering speeds of 1 gigabit per second download and 1 gigabit per
second upload to the end user; (b) provide service to locations in
unserved areas as determined by the division; (c) commit not to impose
caps on data usage on the service provided to the end-user or to block,
throttle, or prioritize internet content in the general course of
business; and (d) have and commit to maintaining high standards of
workplace safety practices, training, certification or licensure for all
relevant workers, and compliance with state and federal workplace
protections.

9. ConnectAll innovation grant program. The ConnectAll innovation
grant program is hereby established to develop, pilot, and deploy
innovative models and technologies for the delivery of broadband
services. Grants issued pursuant to this program shall: (a) benefit the
development of innovative and new broadband solutions and technologies;
(b) deploy innovative broadband technology to rural, low-income, or
other areas that would be unlikely to otherwise see such deployment; (c)
promote critical private sector investment in such technologies; (d)
provide seed funding for the development of such technologies and
products; or (e) foster collaboration between the academic research
community and the business sector for such purposes. The division shall
establish the procedures to solicit, receive and evaluate proposals for
the program consistent with rules, regulations, or guidelines
established by the commissioner.

10. ConnectAll digital equity grant program. The ConnectAll digital
equity grant program is hereby established to support individuals to
have the information technology capacity needed for full participation
in society and the economy, including the effective implementation of a
State Digital Equity Plan or any successor plan. Grants issued pursuant
to this program shall be awarded in a manner and form as determined by
the division consistent with all relevant federal laws, codes, rules,
and regulations associated with the federal Digital Equity Act as
established under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The
division shall establish such State Digital Equity Plan and the
procedures to solicit, receive and evaluate proposals for the program
consistent with rules, regulations, or guidelines established by the
commissioner.

11. Assistance of other agencies. To effectuate the purposes of this
article, the director may request from any department, division, board,
bureau, commission or other agency of the state or from any public
corporation or district, and the same are authorized to provide, such
assistance, services and data as will enable the office properly to
carry out its functions, powers and duties hereunder.

12. New NY Broadband Program; transfer. All the functions and powers
possessed by and all the obligations and duties of the state broadband
program office and the New NY Broadband Program are hereby transferred
and assigned to and assumed by the division.

13. Reporting. The division shall: (a) in a form and manner prescribed
in accordance with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or
American Rescue Plan Act, make publicly available information relevant
to long term plans for the use of broadband expansion funds, the
mechanisms by which the division will award such funds, the entities
that will receive such funds from the division, progress reports on the
use and disbursement of such funds by the division, and a comprehensive
final report on the activities of the division; and

(b) every six months, beginning twelve months after the first
disbursement to a grant awardee under any program established under this
section, until such a time that all funds associated with all programs
established under this section have been fully expended, submit a report
to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, and the speaker
of the assembly setting forth the activities undertaken by the program.
Such reports shall include, but need not be limited to, the details of
the grants and recipients, locations of the projects, and such other
information as the division deems necessary and appropriate, to the
extent that the production such reporting is not duplicative of federal
reporting requirements associated with broadband expansion in New York
state under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or American
Rescue Plan Act. Such reports shall be included on the department's
website and any other publicly accessible state database that list
economic development programs as determined by the director.

* NB There are 2 § 16-gg's