Cuomo touts rural broadband coverage plan

Published: Jan. 31, 2018 at 12:17 PM EST
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Plattsburgh Wednesday to announce improvements to high speed internet coverage.

Clinton County Community College student Cole Bare lives in a rural town outside of Plattsburgh. "Yeah, it's a pretty small town," he said.

Bare says it's a struggle to just get his homework done. "My internet is pretty slow for where I live. I have to come to class early to get some work done and research some things," he said.

Janice Padula has been teaching online classes at the College for almost 18 years.

"Students that sign up for my class that live in Danemora -- they have to go to a library or come to school," said Janice Padula, a local teacher.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visited Plattsburgh Wednesday to announce that inferior broadband in the area is about to change. "I love the North Country. I just I hope you don't take it for granted because you're here all the time," Cuomo said.

The program to bring high speed internet to all of New York started in 2015. The North Country portion alone costs $100-million. The state is paying multiple companies to bring service to nearly every rural home. "I get the power of downstate, but the need is upstate," Cuomo said.

When the program started only 20-percent of the North Country had broadband internet access. Today it's 86-percent. Now Governor Cuomo promises everyone in the North Country will have high speed internet by the end of 2019. "This is the first state in the United States of America to have 100-percent internet access for the entire state

Wider access to faster internet is something students like Cole Bare are looking forward to. "It will probably make me do things on time instead of waiting to the last second," he said. "So students at Clinton Community College right here won't have to travel about an hour before their class just to get their work done. They can do it at home."