Broadband Development

Congressman Paul Tonko, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, City Treasurer Darius Shahinfar at Google’s 2015 eCity award ceremony in downtown Albany.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Last month, New York regulators revoked their approval of Charter Communications' merger with Time Warner Cable and ordered the company to find another cable provider for its more than 2 million customers in the state. The move is encouraging municipalities to find alternatives to expensive cable internet service.

Schumer
WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and a congressman from western New York are reaching across the aisle in an effort to protect $170 million in federal broadband funding declined by Verizon and now at risk of going to other states.

Albany FreeNet

Albany is conducting a public survey to evaluate its broadband options.

 

Albany FreeNet

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

Remember net neutrality?

Right, it's that brain-flexing term that refers to the idea that phone and cable companies should treat all of the traffic on their networks equally. No blocking or slowing their competitors, and no fast lanes for companies that can pay more.

In fact, the term itself was so nerdy that it's been "re-branded" as Open Internet.

WAMC photo illustration by Dave Lucas

Broadband internet is about to get a big boost in parts of central New York.   It's a private initiative, apart from the state’s expansion plan.

Sean MacEntee/Flickr

According to President Barack Obama, more than 90 percent of households headed by a college graduate have Internet access, while fewer than half of low-income households have similar access. The president says the "digital divide" puts these individuals at a disadvantage by limiting their educational and economic opportunities because the Internet is increasingly needed to find a job, finish homework or keep in touch with family and friends. The mayors of a handful of upstate cities agree, and are taking action.

Albany FreeNet

In August 2009, then-Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings announced that Tech Valley Communications and the city had received a state grant of 625-thousand dollars to expand Albany FreeNet, the free wireless Internet network. Now, six years later,  efforts to bring free or low-cost high-speed Internet to the residents of Albany have been moving along at dial-up speed.

As the Farm Bill moves through the Senate Agriculture Committee as early as this week, then on to full Senate consideration, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a teleconference today in which she outlined her priorities for the legislation to strengthen New York State’s agriculture industry and rural communities.

Gillibrand, New York’s first member of the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly four decades, put together a letter, signed by 32 other senators, to cut crop insurance subsidies and hold off any food stamp cuts.