Tkaczyk bill expands broadband in rural areas - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Tkaczyk bill expands broadband in rural areas

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ALBANY, NY - Legislation co-sponsored by Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk to expand access to broadband in rural areas of the State passed the Senate today.

Senator Tkaczyk has been an outspoken proponent of expanding broadband service in her district and earlier this year held several press conferences on the issue.

"Broadband is an absolutely crucial component of our modern-day business infrastructure. It is essential for job creation and economic growth," Senator Tkaczyk said. "Unfortunately, it is not readily available at an affordable price in many portions of Upstate New York, particularly in rural areas. My bill would encourage broadband service providers to invest in rural areas that are currently underserved."

The measure passed by the Senate today (s5481) would promote broadband expansion by providing residents and small businesses with tax credits for broadband deployment.

Senator Tkaczyk has also introduced the Broadband Internet Access Act of 2013 (S4523) which would expand High Speed Internet service in rural, underserved, and unserved areas by awarding tax credits to companies that install new broadband service.

"Our rural communities and small Upstate cities are not getting the support they need, and many of the unique challenges facing our local businesses are not being addressed," Tkaczyk said. "The cornerstones of my legislative package would help small businesses by expanding Broadband Internet service, and would also support the small and medium farms that contribute so much to the Upstate economy."

Senator Tkaczyk noted that in addition to being an important component for job growth, Broadband is also an increasingly important educational tool, allowing for distance learning and preparing students for the modern job market. But schools in many of New York's rural areas cannot effectively utilize distance learning because of a lack of broadband.

"To have thriving rural communities, you need good schools that parents want to send their kids to," she said. "Any investments we make in bringing broadband to rural areas will be good for our schools, good for the business community, and will lay the groundwork for long-term economic development and job growth."

Senator Tkaczyk was joined at her press conferences by advocates of broadband expansion

Jim Clark, President of Clark Home Respiratory Supply in Catskill, said, "Without sufficient broadband service, new technological advances will be unavailable to many of the businesses and residents of Upstate New York, creating a huge disadvantage. Expanding broadband as proposed by Senator Tkaczyk would help Upstate businesses to better serve our clients, and to grow and create new jobs."

Ken Rose, CEO of Montgomery County Business Development Center, said, "We need sufficient broadband service in order to take full advantage of all the new technological advances available for small businesses, schools and families.  Expanding broadband as proposed by Senator Tkaczyk would help businesses in Montgomery County to grow, create new jobs and better serve their customers."

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