Although some of the data used to study broadband in New York state is often flawed, the Department of Public Service is promoting its new broadband map.
Buffalo, NY – After a 9-month study of broadband access in New York State, the Public Service Administration (also referred to as PSC) Released a new map Aiming to provide accurate and accurate data.
“We’ve determined that 97.4% of address locations in the state are being served,” said Valerie Gallasso, head of public policy for DPS’s telecommunications division. “.1% of address locations are unserved and 2.5% of address locations in the state are not served.”
This study, which was requested by the legislature in its 2021-2022 budget, identifies the service with a greater capacity than the FCC.
- Any service greater than 100 Mbps is offered.
- Underserved is the service between 25Mbps-100Mbps
- Unserved service between 0Mbps-25Mbps
ECC Technologies conducted the study on behalf of the PSC. According to the statement of work submitted by the ECC to the PSC, part of the data set used for the study is the Form 477 data.
However, PSC staff insist that the study has several layers of checks and balances to ensure the accuracy of the data.
“We also use data from field inspections that travel more than 80,000 miles in remote locations across the state to verify data provided by the ISP referenced above,” Gallasso said.
For the eight counties in western New York, the study reports that the percentage of addresses being served is high, with the exception of Catarogos and Wyoming counties.
- Allegany – 94.49%
- Catarogos 74.5%
- Chautauqua 94.45%
- Erie – 98.9%
- Genesee – 94.65
- Niagara – 98.7%
- Orleans – 94.6%
- Wyoming – 86.87%
But if you take a closer look at the data, and know where to look, the gaps in the data set are quite obvious.
John Oaks discovered this almost immediately.
“When I checked, he said my relatives were covered,” Oakes said. “When I checked the Spectrum, they said no, they didn’t run out of title.”
2 On Your Side highlighted Oakes’ struggle to get high-speed internet in his Oakfield home in 2020.
He still doesn’t have a connection in his house that would put him in the service category. However, since our initial report, he’s upgraded from satellite service to LTE at home, giving him about 50Mbps on a good day.
Oakes says he just wants to hook up with his in-laws who live near the corner.
“It would be best for them to stay in touch with their friends and family,” Oakes said. “If they don’t have it, it will be much more difficult for them.”
The unveiling of the 29-page report took about an hour at the June 16 Public Service Administration meeting.
Part of the report also provided commissioners with solutions to fix the gaps in digital disparity and find solutions to properly communicate the remaining 2.6% of the country.
PSC employees have been questioned by commissioners about digital equity and regulatory issues, notably by Commissioner Tracy Edwards.
“Why should we have the people with the lowest incomes who have the highest prices and the lowest speeds?” Edwards asked the staff.
Edwards has been lobbying PSC employees over data that revealed that 42% of addresses in the state had only one choice of wired or wireless provider. Many metropolitan communities across the state have a monopoly provider.
One employee replied: “Very deep questions.” “We’re thinking about what to do about these things, and I think we can include that in the next study.”
The evaluation will be annual, as mandated by the legislature.
However, Edwards did not let the PSC staff off the hook.
“We don’t have a procedure in the recommendations to address that,” Edwards said. “So what’s the best way for us to go forward to ensure that because I don’t want to wait another year?”
The PSC staff acknowledged that they could explore the issue raised by Edwards sooner than next year’s study.
2 On Your Side reached out to ECC Technologies to try to learn more about collecting data for the study. In addition, requests have been made to speak with officials from the Public Service Department.
Both of our requests were denied.
The full report can be I read here.
Could be the new map found hereAnd, if you see any conflicting information, you can send a tip to us at firstname.lastname@example.org