A bipartisan group of upstate lawmakers recently sent Gov. Andrew Cuomo a letter that basically asks “where’s the cell service?"

The group is interested in the work of the Upstate Cellular Coverage Task Force, which last met in September 2019.

New York Assemblyman Billy Jones, of Plattsburgh, sits on the task force and was one of the signatories to the letter.

“I was part of three meetings in Albany,” he said. “It was a good group of people. Good recommendations came out of it.”

The taskforce was created by Gov. Cuomo to study the issue of rural cell service, which in some locations across upstate rural areas remains non-existent. Its mission was to report on where pockets of inadequate cell service are, and come up with a game plan to address the issue.

But because of COVID-19, the report was never issued. Jones and some of his colleagues say the time has come for action.

“We are requesting from the governor some kind of report to come out. Recommendations or implementations of these recommendations so that we can get better cell service here in New York State in rural areas,” Jones explained.

A statement to Capital Tonight from Empire State Development explained that the report is in the final stages of review and is expected to be released “very shortly.”  

“The COVID pandemic underscored the critical importance of access to telecommunications services for all New Yorkers,” the statement continued.