1 million New Yorkers do not subscribe to an internet service

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ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – The state has tried to bridge the broadband connectivity gap to make the Internet accessible and affordable. Progress has been made, but more than a million New York City homes cannot or do not have internet service, says one report published Tuesday by the State Controller, Thomas DiNapoli.

DiNapoli would like to point out that more than a million New Yorkers, or 13.8%, do not subscribe to an internet service. Many of these households earn no more than $ 20,000 per year. He said one in three low-income households do not have internet access. While some use smartphones with robust capabilities to meet their needs, cost is often cited as the main reason for not having broadband at home, according to the report.

A slightly closer look at the demographics of those New Yorkers without broadband service found that they were more likely to not have graduated from high school, earn less than $ 20,000, or be 65. years or older.

New Yorkers Who Didn’t Have Internet Access Based On 2019 Data

  • People with a bachelor’s degree – 5%
  • People without a high school diploma – 26.7%
  • Households earning more than $ 75,000 – 4.5%
  • Households earning less than $ 20,000 – 36.2%
  • People aged 18 to 64 – 8%
  • People aged 65 and over – 24%

“The state has taken significant steps to make broadband accessible to most New Yorkers, but there is still a digital divide in rural New York City and for low-income New Yorkers who do not. do not have access or cannot afford a home subscription. . Broadband connections are imperative for economic development and equal opportunities, ”said DiNapoli.

DiNapoli says that from 2013 to 2019, the number of people without broadband access increased from 518,000 to 253,000 people in New York City. About half of those still without access were from Long Island (25%), Mid-Hudson Valley (12%) and New York City (12%), according to the report. Individually, Allegany (23.4%), Cattaraugus (17.9%) and Hamilton (14.7%) counties had the highest percentage of people without the Internet.

Even with around 13.6% of households without internet access, residents of the capital region were the most connected. Only 3% of the population do not have access to the Internet.

Region % of households without broadband access
Northern country 19.3%
Mohawk Valley 18.2%
New York Center 17.1%
South level 16.6%
Western New York 16.3%
New York City 16%
Finger lakes 14.8%
Capital region 13.6%
Mid-Hudson 12.4%
Long island 9.2%
Source: NYS Controller
Region Number of people without Internet access
New York City 30 762
Mid-Hudson 30,349
Western New York 30,041
Long island 61 231
Finger lakes 20 877
Capital region 6,198
New York Center 9 549
South level 19,569
Mohawk Valley 18,569
Northern country 20,914
Source: NYS Controller

“A reliable high-speed internet is a necessity for working, communicating and learning effectively in our society and this was clearly evidenced during the COVID-19 pandemic when millions of New Yorkers turned their homes into schools and places. working, ”said DiNapoli.

To help more households connect to the internet, he also said the state should take immediate action and seek funding under the US bailout by creating a detailed plan.

The plan should include: a way to make broadband internet accessible to everyone, including in rural areas; strengthening access for low-income households as well as for community institutions, schools, libraries and parks; improve affordability, especially for low-income households.

See the table below which shows the percentage of the population in the counties of the Capital Region without access to broadband services. The controller’s report has a interactive map with all the county information.

county % of the population without available broadband
Albania .3%
Colombia .8%
Fulton 3.4%
Greene 1.7%
Montgomery 2.1%
Rensselaer 0%
Saratoga .1%
Schenectady 0%
Schoharie .9%
Warren 3.8%
Washington 2.3%
Source: NYS Controller

Overall, New York ranks second nationally for accessibility to broadband with about 99% of the state with access. In comparison, in the United States as a whole, 96% of people have access to broadband. The only state to dominate New York was Connecticut with just a slightly higher percentage.


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