I received a cheaply produced political flyer in the mail the other day—it was from Pete Lopez, getting an early start on next year’s Congressional election. The issue Lopez chose to highlight? Broadband and the lack thereof.
Ordinarily it would be a good thing to have a politico emphasize the need for broadband in our area and vow to help bring us up to speed. But Lopez is following in the footsteps of Chris Gibson, another politician who claimed for years to recognize the importance of broadband to this area and did fuck-all to make it a reality. This just seems like more of the same.
Pete Lopez: we need more broadband.
Lopez says he is counting on $500 million in state money to expand high-speed broadband to underserved areas. He says “a high priority for me will be to use these funds to build new Internet lines that would effectively serve our rural communities.” But he does not explain how he will achieve this. How, for example, will he persuade Mid-Hudson Cable to accept government funding to expand its service when it has rejected such funding in the past?
The question is of more than academic interest. Greene County ranks last in New York State in broadband availability, and the service it does have is arguably sub-standard.
Fortunately, another New York politician is on the case—New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. His office is investigating whether current broadband providers are actually delivering the speeds they promise. (Spoiler: in many cases, they’re not.) You can help hold your provider accountable by going to this page, filling out the form, taking the broadband speed test at http://internethealthtest.org and attaching a screenshot of your test results to the form you submit to the AG’s office.
My provider is Mid-Hudson Cable, and according to the test I am receiving less than half the speed I’m paying for.
I’d like to see someone do something about that, and with luck someone will. But it’s likely to be the Attorney General’s office, not Pete Lopez.