FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2011
SCHUMER, IN SENATE HEARING TODAY, ASKS GOOGLE TO TEST NEW, ULTRA HIGH-SPEED INTERNET IN UNDERSERVED HUDSON VALLEY AREAS – LACK OF BROADBAND INTERNET ACCESS A BURDEN ON NORTHERN HUDSON VALLEY RESIDENTS AND SMALL BUSINESSES
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer personally asked Google Chairman of the Board Eric Schmidt to choose the Hudson Valley as a test site for Google’s new ultra high-speed internet networks. In the first round of test site selections, Google chose Kansas City as the test center for its new network. Due to the high demand for Google’s new network, the company plans to expand the number of test sites and will be considering additional locations to test out the new network that could make internet activity much faster and convenient for everyday users, and serve as a huge boost to local businesses that rely on a fast, reliable internet connection. Schumer, in a subcommittee hearing of the Judiciary Committee, today asked Google to take a close look at rural areas throughout the Hudson Valley that are seriously underserved at present, often with few choices for providers and limited speed and bandwidth capability.
“Google’s new network has the potential to kick start businesses throughout the Hudson Valley,” said Senator Schumer. “In 2011, residents and businesses should not be forced to suffer through the headaches and frustration that come from lost connections, terribly slow service, and limited bandwidth. Poor internet service makes everyday things like paying bills, managing the family savings, and staying in touch with friends and family a chore, and it also holds back businesses from thriving and creating new jobs. Google’s new ultra high-speed internet technology has the chance to change all that, and I’m strongly urging them to give the Hudson Valley a serious look as they move forward with the testing program.”
Google’s new, ultra high-speed broadband internet could provide service that is over 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today, allowing users to download one gigabyte of data per second. Increasing bandwidth capability would allow home users to send large, high-resolution images and videos to friends and family with greater ease, and would help users manage online finances more quickly with less lag-time between pages. The network would also be a huge boost to local businesses that use online teleconferencing technology, and other data-intensive internet tools. Throughout the trial phase, Google plans to test drive several different systems catering to different population sizes to determine which technologies are most effective. Schumer believes that the Hudson Valley would offer Google the opportunity to test technology that could cater to a combination of rural and suburban areas, and then choosing these counties as a test site would be a huge step forward for an area that has fallen behind in terms of high-speed internet access.
Companies in the Northern Hudson Valley who have no options besides dial-up internet are at a competitive disadvantage and cannot keep up with the demands of the 21st century consumer. Farmers and small-businesses owners who would like to market and sell their products online are having trouble keeping up with orders and responding to their customers in a timely manner. Kirchhoff-Consigli Construction Management, of Pleasant Valley, employs many individuals who work in the field via laptop, using remote internet connections to access company files. The lack of internet speed, capacity, and access seriously inhibits their productivity and the efficiency of their field staff. To ensure quality service, Kirchohoff has turned to more costly and less efficient alternatives, tying up valuable resources and man power which in this economy seriously affects the bottom line. Google’s infrastructure and high-speed service would give companies like Kirchhoff-Consigli Construction Management the tools they need to meet the demand of a 21st century work place.
“The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce supports the possible implementation of ultra-high speed internet access throughout the Hudson Valley area,” said Charles S. North, President & CEO of the Dutchess County Chamber of Commerce. “The number and diversity of companies and organizations that would benefit from the availability of this service include information technology service providers, health care providers, educational and financial institutions, to name a few. While we like to think local, it is imperative that our business community have access to the latest technologies to stay competitive in the global market."
Neversink Glass Co. a Sullivan County-based firm was nearly forced to leave the county because they did not have access to broadband access. The company’s inability to upload and download large files affected their email service, and caused a number of network problems that made it difficult to run an efficient business. The firm was able to team up with other companies to get Time Warner to improve internet service so that they could remain in the county, and strongly is supportive of Senator Schumer’s effort to increase broadband access throughout the Hudson Valley.
“Companies such as ours that handle large data files are handicapped because of limited infrastructure,” said Aubrey Steele, President of Neversink Glass, Co. “Time is money, and we want to see change brought about that helps us to work smarter and more efficiently.”
Not-for-profits and local governments find themselves behind the curve when it comes to online services. Local governments cannot offer the same constituent services as other governments because new software and technology assumes a certain internet capability in the 21st century. Because of this, constituents do not get the same type of turnaround or efficient services. Dial-up internet cannot handle large databases and process the quantity of information needed to implement certain technologies such as problem tracking, complaints, emergency requests and requests for information.
Google has focused their high-speed broadband implementation on high-density urban locations who lack a diverse selection of internet providers to offer more consumer choice. By altering their selection process to include large rural areas encompassing a large geographical area rather than a dense metropolitan area, Google can bring new technology to those who have limited internet options. Google can give farmers, small-businesses owners, not-for-profits and government leaders a new way to use the internet to improve their services and reach new segments. In keeping with the company goal of optimizing the online experience for the greatest number of people, effectively bringing more people into the Google stratosphere, Google will be also serving their shareholders by bringing large areas of people into the 21st century.