Maziarz: Senate passes legislation promoting rural broadband deploymentby jmaloni
State Sen. George Maziarz, R-C-Newfane, has announced Senate bill 5481, legislation creating a refundable tax credit for broadband deployment to homes and small businesses in rural areas, has passed with bipartisan support in the Senate.
This legislation, expanding on Gov. Cuomo's ConnectNY Program, creates public-private partnerships to bring broadband to the rural, under-served areas of New York. This bill, titled the Rural Broadband Deployment Act, will allow residents and small businesses in these areas to come together and select a broadband provider to bring them services. Any eligible out-of-pocket expenses for construction will be eligible for a 100 percent refundable tax credit over five years.
No provider will be eligible for the tax credit, and the provider must make a significant contribution to construction costs.
"For many of the rural areas across New York, including many sections of my district, geographic isolation and conditions have left them without access to high-speed broadband connections," said Maziarz, sponsor of this legislation. "This legislation will allow for broadband deployment much more rapidly than is in the current system, finally getting service to those who live in rural areas. The public-private relationship established through this bill gives the residents and small business owners the opportunity to decide what technology and provider they want with receiving reimbursement, while requiring providers to make significant contributions should they be selected by the community."
This legislation is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Bill McGee and is currently in the Governmental Operations Committee.