Schumer Calls Out Disparities in Broadband Reports

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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says 436,000 Long Islanders have slow internet service and a recent report by the FCC concerning broadband access is too optimistic.

According to that report, nearly all Long Islanders have access to broadband. However Schumer on Sunday cited a Microsoft report from December that estimated 125,000 residents in Nassau and 311,000 more in Suffolk had slower than acceptable internet speeds. 

The FCC defines the minimum broadband speed as 25 megabits per second.

That compares to nine percent of Nassau County residents and 20 percent of Suffolk residents who don’t have broadband service, according to Microsoft. 

Schumer wants the Commission to review the disparity between data supplied by service providers and information in the Microsoft study, which used data generated by internet devices. He specifically questioned federal policy allowing providers to count some areas where they are not actually providing service, reported Newsday. That’s because providers can use the coverage of one household in a census block to “count” as coverage for an entire area, Inside Towers reported.

The FCC had no comment, however the agency has a pending proceeding to fix the data that comprises its broadband report.

June 5, 2019

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