DRYDEN, N.Y. (WENY) — Internet for all, and a deadline that’s quickly approaching. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was in Dryden Wednesday afternoon to discuss the Infrastructure Act that aims to bring broadband to the region.
“The pandemic laid bare many things – one of which is access to broadband which we know isn’t a luxury anymore, but a necessity,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Senator Schumer said bringing broadband to every home, particularly in rural areas in New York, has been one of his goals and a priority as Majority Leader.
According to Senator Schumer, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will determine how much money New York would receive. The amount of money N.Y. would receive would be based upon FCC maps.
“We need everyone to make their voices heard and verify their internet services information is portrayed accurately to the feds. When it comes to the FCC, you’ve gotta be in it to win it. You’ve gotta be on the map that you don’t get internet to get the dollars,” said Senator Schumer.
Senator Schumer said people can check their internet service here. He said if something is inaccurate, you should change it.
“So, if they say you’re getting broadband but you’re not – or the broadband service is so bad you’re virtually not – you should enter that in. We want to be able to get these dollars out as quickly as possible. I’ve urged the FCC to move it, but I’ve told the feds they need to be sure to thoroughly review any challenges put up by our communities,” said Senator Schumer.
He said after any challenges have been submitted, the FCC will take them into consideration and will release the funding by June 2023. Once the funding is released, jobs and construction to get high-speed internet into homes will begin.
Senator Schumer said $42 billion has been allocated for broadband, and another $14 billion has been set aside for those who can’t afford Internet services.
“Let’s say you live in downtown Ithaca, and there’s a good broadband fiber right down your street – but you can’t afford the $50 a month that it costs. There’s help for poorer people to get this because we don’t want to put their kids whether they’re in school or elsewhere at a disadvantage. Franklin Roosevelt did this with electricity, we’re doing it for broadband,” said Senator Schumer.
If you or someone you know doesn’t have internet access at home — that’s okay. Anyone is able to go to a local library and Google “FCC Broadband Map”, or you can click here. The deadline to update your portion of the FCC map is Friday, January 13th.