Senator Young: MTA Utility Relocation Costs Could Delay Upstate Broadband Plans

February 25, 2016
ALBANY, NY – State Senator Cathy Young, Senator Tom O’Mara and other upstate Republican lawmakers, have been working for years to get broadband internet service into small upstate towns. This is something that Governor Andrew Cuomo has been a big supporter of, and the plan is to have broadband everywhere in the state, by 2018.
Crains New York reports that Governor Andrew Cuomo has in his proposed 2016 budget, that Verizon and other utility companies, will pay millions for New York City MTA utility relocation construction work.
Click here to read full article from Crains New York.
At a state senate hearing on Thursday, Senator Cathy Young questioned MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast about how this plan to have utility companies pick up the bills for the New York City utility relocation work, this plan might stall the work to get broadband internet service into upstate’s small towns. “What this can do, is delay broadband infrastructure development across the state,” Senator Young told the MTA commissioner. “And number two, it would increase the cost for New York wireless consumers, including, potentially, wireless customers outside the MTA region.” The MTA commissioner answered that the MTA pays more than other New York City entities. Prendergast also acknowledged that the farther that people are from New York City, the more difficult it is to persuade people that the cost of relocation of utilities should be paid for. “There’s no doubt about it, the farther you get away from the (NYC) region, it’s more indirect benefit than direct benefit.”sen young

The governor’s office says it’s the norm, for the utility companies to pick up the costs of relocating utilities in New York City. Verizon maintains that many of their customers are not near the New York City subway system.