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New Yorkers hopes for improved broadband service

Mar 21, 2015 12:05 am
[caption width="252" align="alignleft"] From New York Governor's website.[/caption]On March 18, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a statement on the fifth anniversary of the completion of the first National Broadband Plan. “The recently completed AWS-3 auction, which generated a record breaking $41 billion in net bids, and next year’s first-in-the-world Incentive Auction are just two of the plan’s game changing proposals to enhance America’s position as the global leader in mobile innovation." Global leader? That would be incorrect. A recent study by New America’s Open Technology Institute, Slate reports, found that cities such as Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris, and Bucharest, get fast gigabit service for $40 a month while Time Warner Cable customers in Los Angeles or New York pay same price for just 15 Mbps. It also said 3 GB of data costs at least $30 in the United States, but for around $10 you can get 6 GB in Copenhagen or Bucharest. In Greene County, the situation isn't even that good, as residents here have the worst broadband access in the entire state, according to statistics released by the governor’s office. Columbia County isn't much better, with 74 percent of residents lacking 6 Mbps service and just a survey of how bad the situation is under way. In Albany, Councilman Judd Krasher wants to commission a study about building a city-run, citizen-owned high-speed Internet service like the one in Chattanooga, Tenn., the Albany Times-Union reports. The Syracuse Community Broadband Initiative and Free the Web in Buffalo are attempting similar projects. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been touting a plan for universal broadband by 2019 at many events in the past year, but this week launched a hashtag #Broadband4All campaign to rally support, as, presumably, he doesn't think he has the votes to get it through the legislature in Albany.