Senator Kevin Parker Seeking Greater Broadband Access in the State
S.1636 Passes the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee
For Immediate Release: March 12, 2013
(Albany, NY) Today, Senator Kevin Parker’s (D-Bklyn) initiative to spread broadband across the state passed the Senate Committee on Infrastructure and Capital Investment. The next step for the legislation is to pass the Senate Finance Committee, and then it is headed to the floor for a vote.
Senator Parker’s bill is known as the Connect New York act, and amends the state technology law to allow the Office of Information Technology Services to develop a public-private partnership and to establish social and physical access to reliable broadband service statewide. “This legislation will speed the vital process of bridging the “Digital Divide” felt by urban and rural areas across the state that lack either “social” or “physical” access to high-speed Internet,” stated Senator Parker.
Currently, many inner city, low-income and rural areas do not have access to high-speed (“broadband”) Internet connections that allow high-speed transmission of electronic information (i.,e., “physical access”). Other communities have physical access to broadband Internet, but it is prohibitively costly, so those communities cannot afford high-speed access (i.e., the “social access” problem). The combination of these two problems are what is holding back deployment of universal access to broadband in New York.
The Senator’s legislation seeks to alleviate the physical and social access problems by creating a public-private partnership, modeled after several other states including Vermont, Maine, Kentucky, Ohio and Minnesota. It is believed that passage of this legislation will lead to a reduction of the price of Internet access, and expanded access to computers and telecommunication by many who cannot now afford such access.
With state grants such as the $25 million grant recently announced by the Governor and other private investments, New York is on its way to strengthening universal Internet access within the State. The spread of broadband in several other states, and the resulting competition, has already proven to provide affordable access to broadband technology. In order for New York to compete in the global economy, along with our neighboring states, it is imperative that all New Yorkers have both physical and social access to affordable, widely distributed broadband capabilities,” concluded Senator Kevin Parker.
About Senator Kevin Parker
Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse community in the heart of Brooklyn that consists of 318,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope. He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, Assistant Democratic Leader for Intergovernmental Affairs, and Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans.
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