Tilson Provides Broadband Consulting Services to Execute $500 million New York Broadband Program

Overview 

In 2015, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo established the $500 million New York Broadband Program, the nation's largest and most ambitious state investment in broadband expansion. This program aimed to provide/enhance high-speed coverage to all unserved and underserved areas of the state (100 Mbps in most areas, and 25 Mbps in the most remote areas).

Empire State Development ("ESD") is the umbrella organization for New York's two principal economic development financing entities: The New York State Urban Development Corporation and the Department of Economic Development who together are tasked with the facilitation of business growth and job creation across New York State. To support its economic development mission, ESD invests strategically in infrastructure, innovation, place-making and revitalization, tradable sectors, and workforce development and were tasked to deploy the New York Broadband Program.

Challenge

The first challenge ESD faced was administering a bidding process and reviewing proposed projects to efficiently disperse the funding to qualified vendors who could meet the demands of the program. The second challenge, after awarding subsidies to grantees, was executing thorough vendor-auditing procedures to ensure a successful and timely buildout.

Solution 

Tilson engineered and administered a large-scale hyper-customized reverse auction to evaluate bids throughout the state. Tilson's consultants were able to easily organize and sort the auction results based on various key factors of interest to ESD, conduct a more in-depth technical and financial review, and confidently award funding to vendors.

Tilson was also selected to provide both technical and financial auditing services in connection with the disbursement of subsidies. Tilson's experienced engineers and consultants undertook both a desktop review and an on-site field audit of each grantee and their project to ensure coverage and connection speed.