U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.7 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Increase High-Speed Internet Connectivity in Monticello, New York
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.7 million grant to the Sullivan County Division of Public Works, Monticello, New York, to increase local internet connectivity. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.
This project will enhance community high-speed internet throughout Sullivan County, promoting job creation and economic diversification in the region. This EDA grant will be matched with $415,063 in local funds and is expected to generate $4.5 million in private investment.
Last month, Secretary Raimondo joined North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper in Durham, North Carolina, to announce the launch of the Internet for All initiative, which includes an investment of $45 billion to provide affordable, reliable, high-speed internet for everyone in America. The initiative, which is administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), will build internet infrastructure, teach digital skills, and provide necessary technology to ensure that everyone in America has the access and skills they need to fully participate in today’s society.
“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure our nation not only recovers from this pandemic but builds a better America for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This award reaffirms the President’s commitment to increasing internet accessibility throughout the United States and lays a strong foundation for the critical investments we will make to expand high-speed internet thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
“The Economic Development Administration plays an important role in supporting community-led economic development strategies designed to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This investment will enhance the connectivity of small businesses, distance learners, underserved residents, and remote workers in Sullivan County, including areas with unaffordable, non-existent, or limited internet service.”
“This critical funding will help residents across Sullivan County keep pace with a rapidly changing digital economy,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. “With the drastic shift to remote work and the migration of important business, education, and social services to the internet, access to broadband has never been more important. In New York, we remain deeply committed to providing high-speed internet and creating quality jobs, and we’re thrilled to have this support from our federal partners to keep our communities connected.”
“In March of 2021, I visited Sullivan County and stood alongside local officials, educators, and business owners to launch our fight to finally give our rural Sullivan County communities the access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet that they deserve,” said Senator Charles Schumer. “After months of working with our EDA representative, the county government, and our Hudson Valley Regional Council to address the digital divide, I am proud to announce this $1.7 million federal investment to dial up our fight to bring Sullivan County businesses and residents into the 21st century. This funding will go towards developing a countywide, county-owned, wireless broadband network, which means new good-paying jobs, a boost to our businesses, better healthcare, and further narrowing the ‘homework gap.’ Alongside the historic funding I secured for local governments and broadband infrastructure in the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Sullivan County will now be able to plug its residents and business owners into the future.”
“In an era of remote work and remote learning, access to the internet is a necessity, not a luxury,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “This funding will increase reliable internet connectivity for residents of Sullivan County and will help bring good jobs and investment opportunities to the region. I’m proud to have fought to pass the American Rescue Plan to provide the funds for this project, and I’ll keep fighting in the Senate to close the digital divide and strengthen our rural communities.”
“Expanding access to the Internet creates endless opportunities and changes lives,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “I commend U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo on today’s announcement through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to invest this federal funding that I helped secure through the American Rescue Plan to expand high-speed Internet and connectivity in communities across our region.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Hudson Valley Regional Council (HVRC). EDA funds HVRC to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.