When you live in a rural area of New York State like those of us in Otsego and Schoharie counties, then unless you live in a cave, you are well aware that internet access is non-existent for many, which seems crazy in our modern time but it's been a major problem for a long time. The problem was only highlighted by the introduction of the COVID pandemic when most schools had to turn to online learning much to the dismay of families without access to the internet.

A new study from New York State's Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, reveals just how bad that internet access is, and where it's the worst. Even though New York is making progress with providing access across the state to residents and we rank second in the U.S. when it comes to the percentage of residents with access, we still have a long way to go in rural areas like ours.

Here's the breakdown in percentage of households without access (as of 2019) by NYS regions:
North Country: 19.3%
Mohawk Valley (includes Otsego and Schoharie counties): 18.2%
Central NY: 17.1%
Southern Tier (includes Chenango and Delaware counties): 16.6%
Western NY: 16.3%
New York City: 16.0%
Finger Lakes: 14.8%
Capital Region: 13.6%
Mid-Hudson: 12.4%
Long Island: 9.2%

As you can see, the four counties in our area: Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, and Schoharie Counties are some of the worst counties for broadband access. Now what? DiNapoli wants to use the information from the study to encourage our state's lawmakers to come up with a detailed strategy that can be presented to Congress to try and receive federal aid to boost that aspect of New York's infrastructure.

To find out more about the study from DiNapoli's office, click here.

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