ALBANY — Senator George Borrello is calling on the Senate Democrat Majority to take immediate action to provide internet access not only for downstate students, but for neglected rural students without broadband access.
Borrello said a Democrat broadband tax is keeping taxpayers in rural areas from having any internet access at all, forcing students to find central locations like library parking lots to study remotely during the pandemic.
The New York City dominated Senate Majority failed to heed Borrello and other Republicans call to repeal the Democrat tax that stalled broadband expansion in these areas, and has done nothing to improve access upstate, Borrello said.
Democrats recently introduced a bill to provide WiFi in New York City homeless shelters, where downstate students also lack access, he said.
“We must bridge the digital divide for all students, not just some. It shouldn’t matter if you are a homeless student in New York City learning remotely or a student upstate whose family desperately needs broadband. We cannot leave our children behind at this critical time. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats have turned their backs on rural students by implementing a tax on broadband and severely hindering expansion in rural areas,” said Borrello.
“It’s long past time to act. We must rescind the Democrat broadband tax to deliver access to Upstate and ensure every student, regardless of where they live, can learn,” Borrello added.
Broadband access had been moving ahead until Democrats took the Majority two years ago and passed into law the new tax which is now hindering broadband installation, Republicans said.