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NY State Grants $9M For Upstate Broadband Projects

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the have-some-internet dept.

The Internet 36

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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until there is free music in the air at all times (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46323215)

we remain hostages to deception http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nazi%20zion%20book%20death&sm=3 think of am radio as a subscription product?

think of AM/FM radio as a free product (1)

swschrad (312009) | about 7 months ago | (#46325481)

if the haters shut off rant radio and tune in music, raising the ratings, more stations will go back to rock jocking. radio programmers are sweating little furry squirming kittens as listenership continues to tail off, whatever they try. only one way to prevail: tune out the talk and turn up the tunes.

The Onion (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46323217)

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.

Re:The Onion (0)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#46323275)

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)

Re:The Onion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46323361)

Property Tax is based on Property Value. The Farmer with a lot of land who is paying a heavy tax is probably a millionaire on paper. Are you suggesting he is a pauper and should not have to pay any tax? If so, how can I get my property classified as farm land, since farm land is apparently worthless?

Re:The Onion (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46323373)

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.

Re:The Onion (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#46323523)

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.

Re:The Onion (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46323571)

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).

Re:The Onion (1)

cez (539085) | about 7 months ago | (#46325539)

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 you can blame renters for not paying their fair share, that's ridiculous. The cost is built into the rent, and actuality in upstate NY, people owning houses pay they rent out pay more property tax because they don't get STAR credit for owner occupied housing with no children in the school district.

Re:The Onion (2)

phantomlord (38815) | about 7 months ago | (#46323573)

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 capita). New York spent $135 billion for 19 million ($7105 per capita).

NY has been strangling business and people economically for years, but as long as NYC was humming along, nobody important cares. We haven't had a governor from outside the Hudson Valley Corridor in more than a century, NYC (one man in particular) straight up controls the Assembly and the Senate has been a farce for quite some time. There's a governor that is simultaneously telling people that they can GTFO of the state if they don't believe the same things he does while also begging businesses to come into NY by granting them a decade of complete tax exemption if they open near a college, even if it screws existing businesses and forces them to close or leave the state.

Frankly, I'm not sure NY does ANYTHING right... the only reason I stay is family, but things are getting bad enough that I may just have to leave anyway.

Re:The Onion (1)

gtall (79522) | about 7 months ago | (#46324131)

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 unions were right behind those policies and helped drive business out of NYS, though Rocky got the ball rolling. This happened while the older rust belt industries were being decimated by the Japanese. The later free trade agreements only accelerated the decline.

NYS never gets out from behind the 8-ball. It is a shame really since they have decent colleges and universities. Somehow, they always manage to fail to capitalize on those. The taxes are enough to prevent many new companies from getting started in the state. And even if they did have tax incentives for companies, they'd have trouble hiring because NYS believes in taxing the pop. out the whazoo.

The local governments also got into the taxing and bureaucratic treadmill. Erie County, where Buffalo sits, should whack about half of their county politicians and the City of Buffalo doubly so. The decrease in pop. was large yet they are carrying on like their pop. was 3 times what it is currently.

Re:The Onion (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#46324221)

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.

Re:The Onion (2)

tepples (727027) | about 7 months ago | (#46324627)

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 (3, Informative)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#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?

Re:The Onion (0)

phantomlord (38815) | about 7 months ago | (#46325475)

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 welfare that the county they live in has to pay for), they wouldn't be able to raise the prices of electricity upstate where there is lots of cheap hydro to subsidize rates in NYC, they couldn't hold up the entire state budget to continue WWII era rent control (so fat-cat connected people like Charlie Rangel could have 4 rent controlled apartments), etc. How much of that $4 billion goes to NYC paying for its externalized costs?

Governor Cuomo, Senator Schumer, etc said that people that don't think like them should leave their state and downstate could care less about the affects of their actions on upstate anyway, so let us leave by letting us form our own state. It's a win-win for everyone if upstate/western NY are so bad for poor NYC.

Re:The Onion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46326265)

"Cry me a river. NYC sends $4.1B more to Albany than they get back."

Who gives a flying fuck? *I* send more to Albany than I get back.

Fuck you and your smelly ass piss pot of a city with your tyrannical asshole mayor(s) and your fascist socialist paradise. You want to keep your 4.1B? Fine, fuck off, two states. Would make my day.

New Headline, Old Pork (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 7 months ago | (#46323583)

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 ignore costs attracts a lot people who represent the worst of capitalism, eager to exploit the willingness of pork politicians to pay for mountain hermits to view streaming porn.

Re:New Headline, Old Pork (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46323869)

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.

Re:New Headline, Old Pork (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 7 months ago | (#46323885)

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.

Corruption at work. not news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46323757)

NYS keeps allowing rate hikes for the explicit purpose of funding infrastructure development. The money has always been pocketed with not a single mile of line run.
Corruption is a serious problem here.

Northern New York Broadband (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Northern New York Broadband (3, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Northern New York Broadband (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46324751)

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.

Re:Northern New York Broadband (0)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 7 months ago | (#46324595)

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 local cost of living? Sounds fair, right? $100k household income down here is hardly rich, but it goes a lot further in the North Country. So shouldn't somebody in the North Country who is much better off with that income pay a higher tax rate? If you disagree, do you also not believe in progressive tax rates?

Re:Northern New York Broadband (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46324813)

"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. There's also things like density and scale to consider.

Re:Northern New York Broadband (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46326335)

"It's infrastructure that does have long-term economic benefits for the population as a whole."

And here is where your argument pretty much falls apart.

Big government high taxation, redistribution of the wealth, centrally planned economies, welfare, medicaid/medicare, all of this for "long-term economic benefits" right?

So where are all these wonderful magical benefits then huh? This state is a disaster, businesses are leaving as fast as the trucks can get them out. Unemployment is up, standard of living is down, all the while I work my ass off and make money each and every year and each and every year the state takes their cut without fail.

And I am continually promised over and over again, just wait! Things will be great!

Uh huh.

Re:Northern New York Broadband (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46327217)

I don't see how any of what you listed is infrastructure. That's the difference. The only reason there's any industry upstate at all is because of Internet access and highways.

Re:Northern New York Broadband (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46327703)

"I don't see how any of what you listed is infrastructure."

Really? What does the word mean to you?

"The only reason there's any industry upstate at all is because of Internet access and highways."

Is that so? Silly me. Here I was thinking about all those industries that existed long before the internet or highways even existed, but whatever.

Of course you seem the kind of person who doesn't even know the meaning of the work 'infrastructure'.

Public schools I take it?

Re:Northern New York Broadband (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46328189)

Google defines infrastructure as "the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g., buildings, roads, and power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise."
I'd really like to know how welfare, wealth redistribution or medicare fits into that definition.

As for industry before highways and Internet access, industry was extremely limited in upstate NY unless you were right on the Erie Canal/Mohawk/Hudson system, St. Lawrence or Lake Ontario. Route 12 allows Lowville to have the largest cream cheese factory in the world. I-81 is the only reason Fulton Boiler can even exist in Pulaski, because they truck some seriously massive boilers. The benefits of the NYS Thruway (I-90) are pretty obvious - without it, cities like Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica and possibly even Albany would have completely died once the Erie Canal became obsolete. Before the highway infrastructure, there was some limited industry along the Erie Canal but not much else outside of logging. And if you need someone to explain how Internet helps industry, this probably isn't the site for you.

Re:Northern New York Broadband (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46328489)

Sure, I'll bite.

Taxation, especially progressive punative taxation like we see in our society, is used to support any number of "organizational structures and facilities" designed to support the "operation of a society", that is roads, police, schools etc. These things are pretty much the textbook definition of our societies infrastructure. Big government expands this of course to include all number of social programs and services, any number of which are in fact supported by physical structures and other material facilities; the EPA, the military, DHS, DOA, you name it, the federal government has a TLA for it and is more than happy to tax you for it.

You see, this stuff, all of it, supported by our taxes, is what we call societies infrastructure. And Big Government is busy as a hive of little socialist bees taking our money day in and day out to pay for it, and to line their pockets of course. And over and over we are told that it will make society better, happier, more prosperous, safer, on and on and end over end until we are blue in the face. AND YET we find ourselved in crappier and crappier economic situations every damn time. And the statist responds to this by saying No worries citizen, we just haven't taxed you enough! We have a plan for that!".

Fuck you, pay me is what they say, like mobsters.

"As for industry before highways and Internet access, industry was extremely limited in upstate NY unless you were right on the Erie Canal/Mohawk/Hudson system, St. Lawrence or Lake Ontario.:

lolwut? Of course transportation leads to better and easier access for business, have I disputed this? You said "The only reason there's any industry upstate at all". So you understand that "any... at all" (you earlier) is different than "was ...limited" (you - above) amirite?

See?

Re:Northern New York Broadband (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#46329255)

That's a pretty big roundabout way to qualify that stuff as infrastructure and is clearly different than what most people would define infrastructure as... including most dictionaries. I think you left a few straws while you were grasping.

Yes, it was limited when waterways were the best way to do it. Now that highways are more efficient than canals, they're the only reason there's still industry upstate... without the highways and other physical infrastructure, it would have moved elsewhere. And now that some of that infrastructure isn't being maintained like it should, they already are beginning to look elsewhere.

Re:Northern New York Broadband (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46329639)

"stuff as infrastructure and is clearly different than what most people would define infrastructure as"

What are you talking about?

You pulled up the Wiki entry, let's look at that:

"Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise,[1] or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function. ...

Viewed functionally, infrastructure facilitates the production of goods and services, and also the distribution of finished products to markets, as well as basic social services such as schools and hospitals... "

I don't know how you could maintain that things like police, military, public works, roads, police, schools do not qualify as textbook infrastructure for the civil society, and indeed of them all we even both called out schools in common.

Or perhaps you are just trying to be argumentative and maintain your "you didn't build that" meme.

Whatevs.

$240? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 7 months ago | (#46324227)

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 for a minute that the cabinet costs $48K or that the provider should have $0 investment (since they'll be collecting monthly fees), but still $240 doesn't do much at all.

* we were looking to DIY the neighborhood but ultimately could not get/rent pole space from the ILEC. There is currently 1 wire on the pole, owned by the ILEC. Supposedly the Town probably had lease rights on the pole, but the contracts burned in a Town Hall fire 60 years ago.

Why is this necessary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46324333)

I'm not against what this grant is for, but I'm left wondering why is this even necessary?

Isn't this what the USF [wikipedia.org] was originally created for? (Be sure to see last paragraph of "Universal Service reform" in said Wikipedia article)

Yes I'm aware the proceeds from that fund have gone pretty much nowhere but into the pockets of politicians and bureaucrats but my question still stands.

wake up people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46325783)

Why is no one seeing this for what it really is? This is corporate welfare, call it what it is. This money will go directly into the pockets of companies like Time Warner who in turn will collect the cash and not do anything. Even if they do actually hook up some homes...who gets that monthly fee?

If Time Warner wants higher profits make them pay to run the wire, why should the State give them cash to get a larger foot print for free.

Re:wake up people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46326445)

No doubt.

Oh and look!

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000094

How can this be? TWC gives boat loads of money to, wait for it, Democrats!

But wait? The party of the people! The party that stands for the little guy and fights the evil corporations and mean nasty rich Republicans!

But this cannot possibly be! How is it that our beloved socialist masters are taking evil hate filled corporate money?

Does not compute, error!

Must be Dick Cheney's fault no doubt.

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