ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Public Service is accepting public comment on availability, affordability, and adoption of residential and commercial broadband internet access in New York. The department will be holding several virtual public meetings to receive the comments.

The department is accepting comments from individuals, as well as internet service providers, other telecommunications companies, labor organizations, public safety organizations, healthcare, education, agricultural, and other businesses and organizations.

Public comment issues could include, but are not limited to:

  • Locations where broadband service with at least 25 Mbps (megabits per second) downstream and 1 Mbps upstream is not available, and what barriers are in place
  • Locations where the offered download speeds of internet service are greater than 25 Mbps but less than 100 Mbps downstream
  • Locations where there is only one broadband internet service provider.
  • Locations where broadband service is too costly for some consumers or businesses and how much it costs
  • Reasons why people or businesses do not subscribe to broadband service where it is available
  • Reasons why people or businesses use cellular service to access the internet rather than subscribe to wired or wireless broadband

Public hearings

  • Wednesday. February 23 at 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday. February 23 at 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 24 at 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 24 at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 2 at 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 2 at 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 3 at 1 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 3 at 6p.m.

Anyone who wants to make a statement during the hearing must register in advance on the WebEx website by 5 p.m. the day before the meeting. From the homepage, registrants should click “Join,” enter the event number and provide the requested information. The meeting access codes and passwords can be found on the Department of Public Service website.

Anyone wanting to listen to the hearings without making a comment does not have to pre-register. The hearings will also be live-streamed and available for viewing on the Department of Public Service YouTube channel on the appropriate dates and times.

All New York residents are also encouraged to complete a broadband speed test and survey. The survey must be completed by March 18. More information on the public hearings is available on the Department of Public Service website.