Legislation Promotes Broadband Services For Economic Development In Rural Areas

George Winner

July 13, 2006

Albany, N.Y.-- Legislation sponsored by State Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C, Elmira), which seeks to expand broadband services in rural regions, has been signed into law by Governor George E. Pataki.

The legislation (S. 2747-B/A. 5633-C) was developed and advanced as a bipartisan initiative by the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, which Winner chairs.

"One of the real bright spots of this legislative session is that we’ve heightened important bipartisan recognition of key short- and long-term challenges facing rural communities," said Winner. "This action represents the beginning of a concrete economic development strategy to help bring the excitement and prosperity of a high-tech future to rural New York. Rural communities must find a niche in the continued emergence of New York State's high technology industry. We have to focus on building the necessary infrastructure and work force to cement rural New York's place in that future."

The new law sponsored by Winner directs the state’s lead economic development agency, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD), to submit recommendations by January 1, 2007 to advance the best methods for deployment and expansion of broadband access in support of economic development in underserved rural areas. ESD, together with other state agencies and private industry representatives, will evaluate and recommend specific state and local strategies for the deployment of broadband infrastructure in rural regions.

[see today's news story in the Ithaca Journal]