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The Internet Government The Almighty Buck

NY State Grants $9M For Upstate Broadband Projects 36

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-some-internet dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to a news report, New York State is giving about $9 million in grants to give broadband connection to 33,000 households and 4,500 businesses in rural areas of the state. This works out to $240 per connection. This second round of grants by Empire State Development is part of a Cuomo administration program to reach more than 500,000 residents with no high-speed Internet access, many in rural areas."
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NY State Grants $9M For Upstate Broadband Projects

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  • Are they sure this isn't from The Onion? Cuomo and the state legislature have been trying their damndest to drive everybody out of rural NY to other states. And it's been working pretty well so far.

    • How is that like any other NY Governor. It is not like they ever take Upstate seriously.

      The biggest problem is that New York like to keep their State Income Tax low. So they push the responsibility to the Towns, who charge for property tax. Property Tax, doesn't really fairly cover the population so a Farmer with a lot of land, will get a heavy tax, while a millionaire who is renting, will pay no tax (directly)

      • Property Tax, doesn't really fairly cover the population so a Farmer with a lot of land, will get a heavy tax, while a millionaire who is renting, will pay no tax (directly)

        It should, perhaps, be noted that a famer with an average size farm (~440 acres) worth about the average price for farmland (~$5000 in New York State) IS a millionaire. Net worth, not even counting machinery and house/outbuildings (which will be worth the best part of a million by itself) will be around $2.2 million.

        • That is the problem. There are people who have a lot of assets then they are people who are rich.
          Farmers have a lot of assets, Expensive equipment, lots of land, however they are barely making it because all their profit goes into assets.
          That is different then say a Fund Manager who lives in a swanky house, and uses his money into living a more lavish life style.

          • On the bright side, farm equipment is at least a depreciable business expense. Last I knew, farmland property taxes are handled differently than residential or commercial taxes, but I don't know how differently. A lot of farmland where I grew up was unsuitable for any other usage, as fields in NY are rarely flat (unless you go to Western NY).

          • by cez (539085)
            Not that I agree with high property tax by any means, to me it's like never being able to truly own a piece of land. But it's not the Fund Manager's fault the farmer spends all his money on more taxable assets nor anyone but the farmer who is (presumably?) investing in assets he's not getting adequate (again presumption wise) return on.

            Also, your argument falls flat on the fact that someone is paying the property tax on the "swanky house" . If there is a property, there is property tax. I don't see how
      • NY has a progressive rate starting at 4% for $8200 and going up to 8.82% over $1 million. It ranks among the highest bottom rates and top rates and in addition to that, we also have one of the highest sales taxes, some of the highest property taxes, etc in the country. The state also pushes a lot its costs, like much of the cost of Medicaid, to the county level, where the expenses aren't seen in the state's budget expenditures.

        California spent $145 billion last year for 34 million people ($4265 per capit
        • by gtall (79522)

          NYS has been going downhill ever since Nelson Rockefeller in the 60's and early 70's...yeah, I'm that old. After him, the state swung Democrat although not many noticed the change because Rocky was really a Democrat in spirit. After their fling with the Democrats, the state turned to Pataki, a Republican. I don't recall much of him, he was that influential. Then they swerved Democrat again.

          NYS got screwed because Rocky taught the legislature how to really shake down the companies and the people. The labor u

      • Property Tax, doesn't really fairly cover the population so a Farmer

        Property tax on farmland and undeveloped land is generally much lower than for residential real estate. And since you point out that real estate taxes are levied at the town and county level, you have to specify where you're talking about in order for your comment to make much sense.

      • by tepples (727027)

        a millionaire who is renting, will pay no tax (directly)

        A renter pays property tax through the landlord. What matters about "directly"?

      • Re:The Onion (Score:4, Informative)

        by ebno-10db (1459097) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:51PM (#46324873)

        It is not like they ever take Upstate seriously.

        Cry me a river. NYC sends $4.1B more to Albany than they get back. The NYC suburbs (Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland & Westchester) send $7.9B more to Albany than they get back, yet the upstate "we're getting screwed" refrain never ends. How much more of a subsidy do you want?

        • How about no subsidy... and to go along with it, no mandates from NYC? Better yet, how about NYC let NY state form a separate state since everyone north and west of the Hudson Valley have almost nothing in common with the people in the greater Albany/NYC/Long Island area? If upstate was such an albatross, downstate should love getting rid of us.

          But then downstate would have to house their own prisoners instead of sending them upstate (often with families following, many of whom are on various forms of we
  • The Economist shined the light on all these "rural internet stimulus" projects when they were kickstarted by the feds with $7B in 2011. http://www.economist.com/node/... [economist.com]

    The general subject of rural subsidies, from airports to highways to analog television, is older. http://www.downsizinggovernmen... [downsizinggovernment.org] Geography, unlike race or income, is a choice. I'm not red-baiting tea party-er, but the "last mile of track" forgives a lot of costs the private sector won't ignore, and governments with a mission to ign

    • I find it hard to believe that geography is a choice if you accept that income is not. Especially given that the lower your income, the more difficult it is to move elsewhere.

    • by thaylin (555395)
      Yes, it is a choice, of 10k a month rent or not. But seeing as I dont have a choice to be able to afford a 10k a month rent, where you live is not completely choice.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @11:20AM (#46323925)

    As a resident of North Lawrence, NY (about 15 minutes from Massena and the Canadian border) these grants have been a lifeline to the north country. Most of us have had to use dial up or pay Verizon $60 a month for 5Gbs of spotty service from a 4G hotspot. This next batch of grants will bring a 100mb fiber connection to my house for $80 a month. I'm generally not big on government spending, but we just had our first real data center put in. The nearest one being almost one-hundred fifty miles south. This is bringing a boon to the local economy, as a number of call centers are looking to move into the region because of cheap power (Massena Electric) and the availability of broadband to run VoIP call center systems.

    • by wiredlogic (135348) on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:05PM (#46324367)

      As a former Resident of Rochester you should be so lucky. Try living 1 mile from a Frontier CO and only be able to get 2Mbps down. NYs upstate cities could use some broadband funding too.

      • As a current resident of Rochester, I get 30mbps down from Time Warner (whilst paying for 10). Maybe the problem is just Frontier... they're our ISP at work and we regularly have issues with them. That said, I would happily welcome more ISPs to the area.

    • Whatever happened to the idea of people paying for the true cost of living where they are? The North Country is pretty rural, and like any low population density area it's more expensive to deliver things like broadband. Why should the government subsidize the cost of living in a place like that? Broadband has been readily available in my downstate area for over a decade, but my overall cost of living is much higher. Should the NYS government subsidize that by indexing the state income and sales taxes to l

      • "Why should the government subsidize the cost of living in a place like that?"
        For the same reason Upstate residents subsidize the cost of transmitting power downstate? It's infrastructure that does have long-term economic benefits for the population as a whole.

        "$100k household income down here is hardly rich, but it goes a lot further in the North Country."
        It may go further Upstate, but it's also much, much less common, even in areas that technically have a higher per capita income than Downstate regions. T

  • Seriously, $240? If the connections could be made for $240, customers would be paying for it themselves.

    I'm in a similar area and the cost for extending cable broadband is quoted by the incumbent at $60,000 per mile. That works out to about $5K per household in the typical area.

    Oh, and I've had a cable contractor spec out the build cost* - the lines themselves are under $12K per mile, fully installed to spec and terminated. Still, that's closer to $1000 per household, before cabinet costs.

    Don't believe f

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