Schumer urges rural residents to report broadband access issues ahead of federal funding deadline
Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer made a stop in the town of Dryden Wednesday to urge rural residents to report broadband access issues to the FCC ahead of a Friday deadline.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed this past November, allocates $65 billion towards rural broadband access projects.
New York's slice of the pie depends on the number of households with no or limited access to fast broadband internet service, Schumer said.
"The FCC determines out of that money, how many dollars New York gets, and the maps that determine how many dollars we get are due on Friday the 13th," Schumer said.
In other words, if you don't have fast broadband but the FCC map says you do, you should report that as an error.
Reporting broadband issues via the website could prove difficult for people who don't have access to the internet in the first place.
"If you have a family member that you know doesn't utilize the internet and you're not sure if they have access, can you check out their address [on the map]?" said Jen Gregory, of the Southern Tier 8 Regional Board. "Can you take them to a library?"
For those who do have broadband but struggle to afford it, Schumer said there's also $14 billion in funding for an FCC broadband subsidy program.
Besides broadband, Schumer took the opportunity to highlight other local allocations of the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.