FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 17, 2010
SCHUMER, IN PERSONAL LETTER, URGES GOOGLE CEO TO CHOOSE A NEW YORK STATE COMMUNITY AS TEST-SITE FOR SUPER-FAST BROADBAND INTERNET ACCESS
Nearly 18% of Rural New York Still Uses Dialup Internet; Broadband would Create Base for Job Growth
New York Has A Wide Variety Of Markets That Could Be Prime Test Markets - From Urban Centers That Already Have An Infrastructure To Rural Locations Where Google Could Start From Scratch
Schumer: There Is A Direct Link Between Broadband Development And Job Growth; Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses, Students And Middle Class Families Need This Unique Opportunity
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he has sent a personal letter to Google Chairman and CEO, Eric Schmidt urging him to choose a New York State community as a principal site for Google’s new deployment of high-speed broadband technology. In the letter, Schumer emphasized New York’s wide range of different types of test markets. Schumer said that New York has everything from well wired urban centers as well as locations with no broadband access. He said that this would make it convenient for Google
“The first ingredient to job growth in the global economy is making communications and technology like high speed broadband internet,” Schumer said. “Google choosing New York as the place to locate its broadband project would be a homerun for entrepreneurs, small businesses, students and middle class families everywhere, especially Upstate. The state that leads the way in the next generation of broadband technology will lead the way in job growth and I am committed to making sure that New York is that state. In this global economy, we must do all we can to prevent students and their families from falling behind when it comes to internet access—such access to reliable, high speed internet is simply a must for students to compete in the 21st century economy.”
Recently, Google launched a new program called “Google Fiber for Communities.” The program works by local municipalities filling out an application to be a host for Google’s new broadband technology. Google then reviews the applications and selects a site for the new technology. The company plans to test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations across the country. Google has said that its new networks will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today. The company has pledged to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.
From now until March 26th, Google is asking interested municipalities to provide them with information about their communities through a Request for Information (RFI), which they will use to determine where to build the networks.
Schumer has been a longtime advocate for expanding the latest broadband technologies to areas throughout New York. Earlier this decade, when the technology was only in its infancy, Schumer made it a priority that communities all across New York see the benefits of this technology. During 2005, Schumer partnered with the Telecommunication Industries to announce what communities in New York were “Fiber-to-the-Home Communities,” when fiber networks are available in a majority of homes in a given community. In fact, during the debate over the Economic Recovery Act, Schumer was a consistent voice for adding more funds to broadband development. This work has come to fruition recently. In July, Schumer announced the availability of $7.2 billion in Economic Recovery Act Funding so that communities in New York could take advantage of it. Schumer’s letter to Schmidt is part of his ongoing effort to bring this technology to New York. The full text of the letter is below.
Chairman and CEO
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
I was pleased to read in the New York Times that Google is offering communities the opportunity to benefit from high-speed broadband internet access. While New York State has long been a source of technological innovation, there are still areas in the North and West of my state where reliable internet access is hard to find. Quality affordable internet access is imperative for the sustained and vibrant growth of communities throughout New York. I am writing to urge Google to consider New York State as a potential site for a community super high-speed internet network.
New York has much that can showcase the positive effects of Google’s super high-speed network. Overall, New York is one of the best networked states, and placing one of your projects here would allow Google to show performance improvements in a mature internet market. That said, 2007 Census Bureau data on internet usage shows that while 7.25% of New Yorkers state wide use dial-up, nearly 17.5% of rural New Yorkers still use dial-up instead of broadband. New Yorkers have long voiced concerns about the lack of telecommunication companies’ efforts to reach rural areas.
If Google were to set up a site in New York, it would not only gain access to a mature culture of internet users, but a grateful populace as well. Google would be helping rectify the inequalities of internet access in my state and help spur a flood of economic development as a result.
Thank you for taking a close look at New York State as a site for a future super high-speed internet site. Not only is it a smart decision to showcase the effectiveness of your network, but you would have my complete and fervent support as well as the lasting gratitude of many New Yorkers.
Senator Charles E. Schumer