Internet accessibility versus affordability in New York

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FILE – This June 19, 2017 file photo shows a person working on a laptop in North Andover, Mass. The U.S. internet won’t get overloaded by spikes in traffic from the millions of Americans now working from home to discourage the spread of the new coronavirus, experts say. But connections could stumble for many if too many family members try to videoconference at the same time. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- New York is ranked number two for internet connectivity in the U.S., according to BroadbandNow. Approximately 96.8% of the state has access to wired internet but access doesn’t mean it’s affordable as BroadbandNow’s Editor-in-Chief, Tyler Cooper explains.

Cooper says BroadbandNow uses information from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help calculate the percentage of broadband coverage in each state. They then try to improve on the FCC’s information by cross-checking coverage with an internet provider database.

The percentage of New Yorkers who may actually have access to the internet dwindles when looking at the affordability. Only 70% of the state has access to the internet at a cost of $60 or less. Cooper says affordability versus access is part of the discussions surrounding the digital divide between those who do and do not have access to broadband.

Inquiries to BroadbandNow about how to make the internet available for more students, parents, and teachers as they struggle with access for remote learning and working from home has increased. Cooper says he recently participated in a panel discussion about how to improve New York’s infrastructure, including greater coverage and updated internet capability.

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