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Albany Will Study Broadband Expansion

Albany FreeNet

The City of Albany is initiating a study to look into the challenges and opportunities of expanding broadband service.

The city has signed an agreement with Millennium Strategies of Schenectady to complete a study to review the broadband needs of City residents and businesses. The study is being funded by $20,000 in community development money from the Albany Community Development Agency and additional funding that is being pursued elsewhere. According to Mayor Kathy Sheehan's office, it's estimated that 30-50 percent of children in Upstate New York cities live in households that cannot afford broadband service in their homes. The Albany study is expected to be completed before the summer.

The study has 4 goals:
·         Assess the broadband landscape in Albany to determine the strengths and weaknesses of Internet access currently available in the City;

·         Investigate the extent of a digital divide in Albany that prevents some residents from getting fast and affordable Internet service at home or elsewhere;

·         Assess what is working, and what might be changed, to ensure all businesses in Albany have the connections necessary to compete in the 21st Century global marketplace;

·         Recommend a prudent path, including funding opportunities, to ensure the City has a broadband network that is affordable and provides high-speed Internet access for all.

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