Broadband upgrades across NY slow to roll out

LEWIS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – By this time next year, New York looks to have stronger broadband access for nearly 100 percent of upstate New York.

To date, the state’s announced dozens of projects across the state as part of the Governor Cuomo’s $500 million new broadband program introduced in 2015.

“The broadband access, especially in my community as well as several other communities is very spotty at best,” James Monty, Town of Lewis Supervisor, said.

The internet connection is not the best in the North Country, but Monty believes if it does not improve soon, his town could be in real trouble.

“There are so many people that have come to the town hall wanting to build property, wanting to build homes here, that can’t because they need the internet access.”

Monty says New York’s plan to increase broadband speeds and access statewide is great, but he is not seeing the work.

“Our understanding now is phase three is being bid on and we still, Charter has not reached out to us. So, are we spending money than giving them more money when the work isn’t completed?”

Monty says the company has told him they’re working on it but failed to give details.

The state agency tied to the program said on the phone work is being done when the individual companies can do the work and it’s hard to give exact dates for projects because of how many the state is tackling at once, but confident the state will meet the December 2018 deadline.

The agency also told me supervisors like Monty can look for updates on their website and attend forums and submit questions.

“I’m not buying it, I don’t see how it can happen overnight, when you’re getting ready to roll the third phase out and phase one and phase two are not in some cases, haven’t even begun,” Monty said.

Until that work happens, Monty says towns like his will continue to operate in the dark.

Charter says it is not part of the governor’s New Broadband Program and haven’t received funding for it.

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