New York state has launched the Broadband Mapping Consumer Survey to assist in its first-ever in-depth statewide mapping study of broadband to identify the availability, reliability, and cost of high-speed broadband services across the state.

“High-speed internet is the great equalizer in today’s world because it is essential in accessing basic services and information that we all need in our daily lives,” N.Y. Governor Kathy Hochul said in a September 28 press release. “With this groundbreaking study, we will help ensure that every part of the state, regardless of geographical and economic factors, has access to high-speed broadband.”

Following an Executive Budget passed earlier this year, N.Y.’s Public Service Commission will study the availability, reliability, and cost of high-speed internet and broadband services across the state.

The Commission will:

  • Identify areas at a census block level that a sole provider serves.
  • Assess any state regulatory and statutory barriers related to delivering comprehensive statewide access to high-speed internet.
  • Review available technology to identify solutions that best support high-speed internet service in underserved or unserved areas and make recommendations on ensuring deployment of such technology in underserved and unserved areas.
  • Identify instances where local governments have notified the commission of alleged non-compliance with franchise agreements and instances of commission or department enforcement actions that directly impact internet access.
  • Identify locations where insufficient access to high-speed internet and broadband service, and a persistent digital divide, are causing a negative social or economic impact on the community.
  • Produce and publish a detailed internet access map of the state on its website, indicating access to internet service by address.

Mapping broadband service access has been a challenge not just in the state of New York but nationally. Under the Broadband DATA Act, the FCC has begun to map broadband access across the U.S. to decide where service is needed and how to fund broadband service expansions. But unlike previous Federal mapping efforts, which have been sharply criticized for their lack of specificity and accuracy, New York’s interactive map will focus on the status of broadband service at the address level.

The state contracted with ECC Technologies to seek detailed information as part of the mapping effort. The commission’s map will include: download and upload speeds advertised and experienced; and the consistency and reliability of download and upload speeds, including latency.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.