South level can weigh on broadband access

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New York is launching a survey of broadband mapping consumers to try to better understand the availability or unavailability of broadband broadband services in the state.

The federal government is also investigating the issue, but Albany says the timeline for completing this study is unclear. The study by the State Civil Service Commission is due out by May of next year.

Governor Kathy Hochul said the study would help ensure that every part of New York City, regardless of geographic and economic factors, has access to broadband.

The study was included in the executive budget which was adopted earlier in the year and will examine the reliability of existing service, costs and areas where broadband is lacking or is served by only one provider.

The PSC will publish a detailed state Internet access map on its website that will include advertised upload and download speeds relative to what is actually known, service reliability, and available technologies, including remote access, wireless, fiber, cable, satellite or broadband.

The Commission says it wants to find out which areas have insufficient access to high-speed internet and / or broadband service and / or a persistent digital divide, resulting in negative social or economic consequences on the community.

Once the statewide map is published, it will show Internet service access by address.

The Commission will hold two public hearings to solicit comments from the general public as well as stakeholders. These could include internet service providers, telecommunications companies, emergency service officials, labor organizations, health officials, representatives from all levels of the education sector, the agricultural sector. and other companies or organizations.

Hearing dates have not yet been set.

The broadband mapping survey and speed test can be viewed at www.empirestatebroadband.com

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