Broadband is critical to all aspects of modern life. Rural areas such as the Adirondacks are often underserved, and we are working to ensure that nobody in our region slips through the cracks.
New York State is investing slightly over $670M in expanding access to high-speed broadband through the New New York Broadband Program. The State is defining high speed as 100 Mbps or better with a minimum of 25 Mbps or better in some of the more rural areas. All of the funding has been granted to providers with network build-outs to be completed by the end of 2019 and customer installations using the grant funds to be completed by the end of 2021. In order to meet its goal of universal access to high-speed broadband, the state approved the use of HughesNet to connect roughly 72,000 households in the state with satellite service.
In conjunction with the announcement of the New NY Broadband Program in January, 2016, the PSC approved the merger of Time Warner/Charter. One of the conditions of the merger required Spectrum to expand its network to an additional 145,000 households by May, 2020. In July, 2018, the PSC revoked its approval of the merger, charging that by claiming customer connects in cities, Spectrum was not meeting its build-out targets for the rural parts of the state. The PSC is currently ‘negotiating’ with Spectrum and assuming that the PSC allows Spectrum to remain in the state, we’ll have to see if Spectrum agrees to include more rural households in its build-out plans.
AdkAction hosts a 30-minute monthly conference call to discuss the status of Broadband access in the North Country. There are over 80 people from across the North Country as well as folk representing state and federal Broadband related agencies on the distribution list. The call attendees vary based on what is hot at the moment. The call is kept to 30 minutes, as it is meant to be a forum for the exchange of ideas and lessons learned as well as to update everyone on the latest news from Albany, Washington, and the providers; not a time for big debates.
In addition, we are working with Franklin, Essex, and Clinton counties (as a sample of rural Adirondack counties) to identify households that may be “falling thru the cracks”. We are trying to size the number of households that won’t be covered by either the New NY Broadband Program or the Spectrum build-out. We’re using a GPS program to plot all 911 addresses and then to overlay the build-out plans under the New NY Broadband Program and Spectrum and to identify any addresses in the null set. After determining the magnitude of the problem, we will work to get the state to allocate additional funding so that the goal of universal access can, in fact, be obtained.
Broadband by the numbers
On September 17th, AdkAction board member, Dave Wolff, testified at the NYS Senate and Assembly Public Hearing on the status of rural broadband in NYS.
Nonprofit Offers to Serve as Broadband Conduit: AdkAction to Aid Local Officials with State Dialogue
David Wolff, broadband committee chair of AdkAction, briefs the Essex County Board of Supervisors on broadband updates on Sept. 4, 2018. Photo by Pete DeMola
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If you think it is important for EVERY Adirondack resident to get connected to reliable high-speed internet, make a donation now.
- Residential Broadband Search
- NYS Broadband Funding
Residential Broadband Search
This useful tool is the easiest way to find out which service providers offer service to your address currently and which have received funding (BPO Awards) to service your address by the end of 2019.
NYS Broadband Funding
In 2015 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo established the $500 million New NY Broadband Program (“the Program”) the nation’s largest and most ambitious state investment in broadband expansion. The Program provides State grant funding through an innovative “reverse auction” method to support projects that deliver high-speed Internet access to Unserved and Underserved areas of New York State at speeds of 100 Megabits-per-second (Mbps) in most areas, and 25 Mbps in the most remote areas. Nearly 90 percent of all funding has been awarded to projects that will address Unserved areas of the state, connecting these locations for the first time.