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U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, jointly announced on Thursday that New York will retain use of $170 million in upstate broadband funding that had been at risk of being redirected to other states.

U.S. Sen. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., also advocated for retaining the funding, as part of her overall focus on rural broadband, her office said.

Verizon did not use the funding that had been allocated under the federal Connect America Fund.

The Federal Communications Commission had been planning to bid the unused money out nationally, but reversed its stance and allowed New York state to retain control of the funding.

"This is huge news for rural communities all across Upstate New York," Schumer said in a press release. "From the very beginning, I was very clear with the FCC that this $170 million belongs strictly to New York and should be kept here.

The state will use the money in combination with state funds to fund the next round of  the New NY Broadband Program, according to the press release.

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Follow staff writer Maury Thompson at All Politics is Local blog, at PS_Politics on Twitter and at Maury Thompson Post-Star on Facebook.

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