You want better broadband internet service? Take the survey

CANANDAIGUA — Ontario County officials are encouraging residents to complete a survey they hope ultimately helps fill in gaps of broadband internet service.

In an effort to boost high-speed internet throughout the state, New Yorkers are being asked to fill out survey to find out where it’s most needed so that state and federal funding can be routed to the right places. 

And Ontario County officials want to ensure this region is well-represented by urging residents to complete the survey and internet speed test at www.empirestatebroadband.com. The deadline, which has been extended, is now Dec. 31.  

While all residents and businesses are urged to participate, Ontario County Director of Planning Tom Harvey said it is especially important for those who don’t have broadband access at home or a business — or if what you have does not meet your needs — to complete the survey. 

Tom Harvey, director of Ontario County Planning Department

To date, only 156 survey responses have been received from Ontario County, Harvey said. 

Here’s why it’s important

The state and federal governments’ approach to mapping broadband availability for years has been to assume that an entire census block is served if just one resident reports having broadband service, Harvey said. 

That methodology works well in urban and highly developed areas, but not well in rural areas where census tracts tend to be larger, Harvey said, using the following as an example.   

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