Charter Spectrum on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, agreed to a record $174.2 million settlement with the state Attorney General’s Office over defrauding internet subscribers.
Joseph Spector, Albany Bureau Chief
As the U.S. becomes more and more interconnected via cutting-edge internet technology, rural pockets of the country, including in the Finger Lakes, are being left to grapple with spotty access and slow speeds.
Spotty internet a common hassle
The Democrat and Chronicle found that dozens of residents living in Rochester’s surrounding counties have spent years sampling the internet options available in their rural areas, just to find something that will carry a reliable connection.
A roadblock for remote workers
The issue has hampered families hoping to move into country areas, and causes headaches for remote employees conducting work tasks from home. Some residents have had to drive to a gas station, a Starbucks, or a public library just to get a connection when their home goes dark.
Local farmers also take a hit without access to reliable internet, given advances in internet-connected farming technology and web-based product sales and marketing.
What is the state doing?
New York state is actively working to improve broadband internet for all state residents, and especially for those in rural counties. Since the Broadband for All program was announced in 2015, New York has forked out millions to incentivize providers to expand network infrastructure.
What’s coming in 2019
Local providers say they’re looking to expand and improve their services, but those still waiting for a reliable internet connectivity option may be able to take advantage of what’s coming to the state in 2019, including the following:
- Empire Access, a regional telecommunications company offering fiber optic internet, is already operating in smaller Finger Lakes urban areas like Canandaigua and Naples. The company plans to soon expand further into Ontario County, including municipalities such as Honeoye, Manchester and Shortsville.
- RTO Wireless plans to work with Microsoft to utilize unused television frequency, or “white spaces,” to provide wireless internet in the Southern Tier and the Adirondacks.
- Verizon announced its plans last summer to expand broadband access to 47,000 more New York households, starting in 2018.
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Struggling with your internet service? Tell us!
Let us know about your internet issue and we’ll see what we can do to help. Email me at Staddeo@Gannett.com or reach out to the Democrat and Chronicle on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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