A bill meant to increase broadband throughout the state is on its way to passing the New York State Legislature this week.
The "Comprehensive Broadband Connectivity Act" passed the state Assembly on Tuesday, and could pass the New York State Senate this week.
"The legislature hereby finds and declares that access to high-speed internet is a fundamental right and it is incumbent upon the State to ensure provision of this right to every New Yorker," the language in the bill text reads. "Yet many areas of the state do not have access to adequate broadband services."
This legislation would requires the public service commission to review broadband and fiber optic services within the state and require that broadband and fiber optics be expanded.
According to a 2019 FCC report, nearly 20% of New York residents lack access to broadband.
"We rely on the internet now more than ever," Assemblyman Sean Ryan wrote in a press release. "From ordering groceries, to participating in virtual meetings and online classes, every New Yorker needs access to high-speed internet. Urban and rural areas are the least connected, and we need to take concrete action to better serve communities here in Western New York and across our state."
The bill is now up for consideration in the state Senate.