Understanding Broadband Challenges in New York State

New York State has made great progress building broadband infrastructure and ranks second in the country for the share of population with access to basic broadband speeds. However, there are still over 250,000 New Yorkers for whom broadband service is unavailable in their neighborhood, and even more for whom broadband is unavailable in their home or place of business. Recent developments in federal policy — particularly the flexible funding provided under the American Rescue Plan, new federal programs geared at improving affordability for low-income households, and the potential for additional infrastructure dollars earmarked for broadband — provide an important opportunity for New York to craft an ambitious and detailed strategy to:

  • Accelerate universal availability of the highest-speed connections in every part of the state, including in rural areas;
  • Enhance access for low-income households; and
  • Improve affordability, particularly for low-income residents.

Developing this strategy should include: setting concrete goals for each objective; identifying obstacles and barriers; identifying available federal, state, and local funding sources; and establishing interim metrics and a public reporting schedule to ensure accountability for progress.

Availability, Access and Affordability: Understanding Broadband Challenges in New York State