Getting the Facts in New York

A recent study shows that New York appears to have one of the highest rates of broadband access in the country; however this new data highlights the need for further surveying.   Large sections of the state still remain without high speed internet and the state Senate is looking for ways to increase availability. 

According to a state report based on a statewide survey, 54% of New York has broadband internet access, an increase from just 44% last year.  This finding is in sharp contrast with FCC data that reports 97% of New Yorkers have access.  As we have noted before, the FCC results likely overstate availability because if one person in a zip code has access then everyone in that zip code is counted.

The FCC's method of determining high speed internet access is flawed and extensive surveys need to be done to determine where there is access. Robert Mayer, director of telecommunications for the state Public Service Commission, said that further surveying is needed to discern the availability and affordability of service.

Having complete mapping of internet service accessibility is a prerequisite for any plan to increase access.  Drew Warshaw, an aide to New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, said that locating "dark zones" where high speed internet was unavailable was a vital first step in expanding service.

Combining detailed surveying and strong incentives to increase service will likely help make New York one of the leading states in dissolving the digital divide.  New York is realizing that speed matters.

Press Connects: 54% of households have high-speed Internet Report says N.Y. rate among highest in U.S.

Speed Matters Blog: Eliot Spitzer Gets It

Speed Matters Blog: What 'Accessible' Means