A High Speed Effort in the Empire State

The New York State Legislature is considering a bill--the New York Telecommunications Reform Act of 2007--that would go a long way toward providing universal high speed internet access in the state.

On Tuesday, dozens of organizations and citizens supporting the bill gathered at the New York Legislative Office Building to call on the legislature and Governor Eliot Spitzer to sign it into law. Spitzer has already signaled his support for expanding high speed internet access. If this bill arrives on his desk, it will be a good test of his commitment to the effort.

Advocates also released a letter detailing the ways the legislation will benefit all New Yorkers. If enacted, it

would promote deployment of high-speed internet infrastructure throughout the state; lower the cost of internet services; close the digital divide in rural and lower-income areas; improve telephone service quality; and increase competition in cable television services.

Among the bill's specific provisions: a requirement that telecom companies receiving statewide franchise build out high speed internet infrastructure; a plan for mapping high speed internet access in the state; and a proposal to create a government agency to promote and monitor high speed internet deployment.

This is the precise kind of legislation that should be on the table in every state. If the New York enacts it into law, the state will become a national leader in the effort to bring high speed internet to all Americans.

The New York Telecommunications Reform Act of 2007

All Together Now: Pass and Sign the Telecom Reform Act (The Albany Project)

Eliot Spitzer Gets It (Speed Matters)