Broadband Bill Heads for Governor’s Approval

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Some statistics indicate that broadband penetration has reached 98 percent in New York, thanks to the 2015 New NY Broadband Program. Many New York residents say this number is not correct. A new broadband study bill is purported to be on its way to the governor’s desk, reports WSYR-TV, to determine how successful the state’s broadband outreach truly was. 

“Some of the areas, especially the rural areas in the North Country, we are finding maybe 15 percent of the population has access to true broadband. In a lot of places the only true broadband available is if there is a library or a school,” said Assemblyman Al Stirpe. “You know there are percentages that you’ll hear that 98 percent or 99 percent of the state is covered, well it’s not really,” he added, “a lot of it is satellite coverage and some dial-up.” 

Clifford Crouch, a fellow Assemblyman, pointed out that since the term “underserved” is loosely defined, it is difficult to measure what constitutes adequate coverage. “They might have internet service, but at some point in time it might be non-existent,” he noted. 

The bill under consideration would define both “served” and “underserved.” The bill’s wording has “served” meaning “any location with at least two internet service providers and at least one such provider offers high-speed internet service.” The term “Underserved” would be “any location which has fewer than two internet service providers, or has internet speeds of at least 25 Mbps.” If accepted, the bill would go into effect the following month.  

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