ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) seeks consumer input on broadband availability in rural areas. DPS says the study will assist to identify the reliability and cost of high-speed broadband services statewide, to ensure all New Yorkers have internet access.

Officials say as called for in the 2021 Executive Budget, the assessment program will be updated annually to provide an in-depth interactive broadband map. The research along with the help of internet service providers will demonstrate those areas meeting the state’s definition of served but most importantly those underserved across the state.

According to DPS in addition to the online survey for the Department’s Broadband Assessment Program, consumers can also call a toll-free hotline 1-855-NYBBMAP or mail-in paper option. As part of this process, DPS will:

  • Identify areas at a census block level that are served by a sole provider and assess any state regulatory and statutory barriers related to the delivery of 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 to ensure deployment of such technology in those areas
  • Identify instances where local governments have notified DPS of alleged non-compliance with franchise agreements and instances of commission or department enforcement actions that have had a direct impact on internet access
  • Identify locations where insufficient access to high-speed internet and/or broadband service, and/or persistent digital divide, is causing negative social or economic impact on the community
  • Produce and publish on its website, a detailed internet access map of the State, indicating access to internet service by address.

DPS will publicly issue its report and recommendations by May 2022. The report will include the overall number of residences with access to high-speed internet and a regional survey of internet service prices in comparison to county-level median income. DPS said the study will help determine what steps are needed to ensure that all of New York’s residential and commercial consumers have access to the internet, as needed.