All New Yorkers need a choice of reliable and affordable high-speed Internet and telephone service. But many communities—particularly the Hudson Valley, in upstate NY, Brookhaven and Eastern Suffolk—are subject to a broadband/fiber optic monopoly. This legislation would require more granular and accurate data collection to identify specific areas of New York State that are unserved or underserved by broadband as well as customers that face prohibitive costs.
The FCC’s 477 data on which New York State relies is insufficiently granular. The FCC’s current Form 477 data collection process requires broadband providers to report deployment at the census block level. However, the FCC’s methodology considers an entire census block served if at least one household has access to broadband. This flawed methodology can dramatically overstate broadband deployment, particularly in rural areas where homes and buildings are spread further apart within census blocks.
What the Bill Would Do
- Require the PSC to study:
- The availability of high-speed internet on a more granular level (“location" versus census block).
- The reliability of that high-speed internet access (latency)
- The technology used (fiber, hybrid, coax, satellite, etc)
- Actual uploads and download speeds
- Affordability of service
- Number of residences and number of commercial locations with access to internet
- The commission will also be asked to identify instances where local franchise agreements have not been complied with.
- The commission will also be asked to evaluate the efficacy of competition in fulfilling the goals of universal, high speed, affordable, and high-quality broadband.
- Lastly, the legislation will require public hearings on the above topics with input from the public and other stakeholders including but not limited to internet service providers, telecommunications concerns, labor organizations, public safety organizations, healthcare, education, agricultural and other businesses or organizations.
2020 Bills and Materials