Albany Hires Consultant to Conduct Broadband Study

  • Millennium Strategies
ALBANY, NY – The city of Albany announced it has signed an agreement with the consultant Millennium Strategies of Schenectady to complete a study to review the broadband needs of city residents and businesses. The study, which is expected to be completed before the summer, is being funded by $20,000 in community development funds from the Albany Community Development Agency and additional funding that is being pursued elsewhere.

“Whether you’re a student or a business owner, we live in a world where high-speed connections are essential to success,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “This study will provide the lay of the land of broadband in Albany and outline how we can move broadband service forward in a cost-efficient and timely manner, making sure we bridge any digital divide that prevents residents, especially schoolchildren, from getting affordable and fast broadband access.”

It is estimated that 30 to 50 percent of children in Upstate New York cities live in households that cannot afford broadband service in their homes.

Broadband refers to the kinds of connections, such as cable, fiber, or wireless, used to connect people from their phones or computers through the Internet. The study comes out of the work of the Broadband Initiative Working Group, which includes representatives from the Albany Public Library, the Downtown and Central Ave BIDS, the City School District of Albany, Green Tech Charter School, the Albany Housing Authority, the Albany Promise, the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany, as well as business leaders.

The study has four goals:

  1. Assess the broadband landscape in Albany to determine the strengths and weaknesses of Internet access currently available in the city.

  2. Investigate the extent of a digital divide in Albany that prevents some residents from getting fast and affordable Internet service at home or elsewhere.

  3. Assess what is working, and what might be changed, to ensure all businesses in Albany have the connections necessary to compete in the 21st Century global marketplace.

  4. Recommend a prudent path, including funding opportunities, to ensure the city has a broadband network that is affordable and provides high-speed Internet access for all.

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