CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — On Monday, the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board launched its broadband internet survey project.
COVID-19 has moved many aspects of life online, like working from home, virtual learning, telemedicine, and even online shopping. So the CNY RPDB is asking residents in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties to take a survey that will help identify areas that lack reliable internet access.
The broadband internet study includes a two-pronged approach: Identifying physical infrastructure and conducting a public survey. ECC Technologies has developed a website and survey material that will allow CNY RPDB to collect data about broadband access in the region, called the Broadband Availability and Adoption Toolset (BAAT). CNY RPDB is using the BAAT survey to reach residents and businesses to learn about their current internet access issues, service reliability, and the affordability of their internet access options.
Please note the confidential information collected from this survey will be used to identify areas in the region most in need of improved internet access service. The information will also provide the basis for developing a plan that will help improve broadband internet access in the region.
The plan will be completed by October 2021.
Cayuga County’s Legislative Chair Aileen McNabb-Coleman said, “Cayuga County is blessed with natural resources, beautiful scenery, and strong infrastructure networks. We take pride in providing access to these resources for our residents and visitors alike. In the 21st Century, we must also ensure that our resources connect us to one another. This past year has shown us how vital access to broadband internet is today. It is ingrained in nearly every aspect of our dayto-day lives. To help ensure everyone has access, we are working with the Central New York Regional Planning Board to identify and bridge gaps with internet service in the County, so that everyone can thrive in our community today.”
Chair of the Cortland County Legislature, Paul Heider, states, “Cortland County has a long standing history of being an agricultural community. While broadband connectivity may seem like a modern luxury, it has become as important as the roads, and other public facilities that we rely on to support all industry, education and the day to day needs of our residents. In order to access funds to continue improving this infrastructure, we need our residents to participate in this important community survey. Cortland County is working with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board to develop solutions aimed at improving internet access county-wide.”
Madison County Chair of the Board of Supervisors John Becker said, “Madison County is pleased to have this opportunity to partner with the CNY Regional Planning and Development Board and its member counties to improve broadband internet service in Central New York. This initiative builds on the work that Madison County has been doing over the past two years to expand access to internet service in the County and across our region.”
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said, “Access to broadband can no longer be viewed as a luxury. One of the many lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that broadband is as important as clean water and safe streets.” McMahon continued, “We will no longer wait for others to lead in this area. We are prepared to invest up to fifteen million dollars to bring broadband to every home in Onondaga County. Working with our partners at the Central New York Regional Planning Board, we will make access to broadband a reality and will do so quickly.”
Jim Weatherup, Chairman of the Oswego County Legislature said, “The ever growing need to address the lack of adequate broadband service throughout the county continues to torment us. The COVID pandemic has changed the world around us and we must adapt if we hope to survive and grow. Insufficient broadband service limits access between students and teachers, doctors and patients, employers and remote staff and in general, the greater public and their growing reliance on online services of every sort. There is no question that this must become one of our major priorities and we need your help to be successful in those efforts.”
To take the survey, visit www.cnyinternet.com. If you do not have internet access, public access to a computer or paper copies of the survey may be available at your local library and municipal office. Please contact them first to check on current hours and restrictions. You may also contact CNY RPDB at (315) 412-5966 for assistance filling out the survey or to have a survey delivered to your home.