The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill became law just over a year ago and now the Southern Tier is seeing the expansion of internet accessibility through broadband which is simply high-speed internet connection that is always on; you always have access to it. 

“The pandemic laid bare many things, one of which is access to broadband, which we know isn't a luxury anymore, but a necessity," Senator Chuck Schumer said. 

While Schumer was in Dryden, the lack of access goes beyond Tompkins County and is important for drawing people into the area.  

“There are 25,000 households in the Southern Tier who don't get Internet," he noted. "In six Southern Tier counties, five percent of households lack access. In three counties, 10 percent. And these put our rural communities at a disadvantage because people don't want to live there with businesses, small businesses or others don't want to locate there if they can't get Internet service.” 

Schumer notes that the internet has become as vital as electricity. 

“Franklin Roosevelt said we have to have every home have electricity because it was a necessity in the 1930s. We say that the same thing occurs in the 21st century with broadband, with Internet, it's a necessity. It's a necessity for your kids learning in school. It's a necessity to commute, for health care.” 

The next step is FCC review of the maps noting who has access and based on that, how much funding is needed. But, Schumer says the maps may not be accurate. To make sure you are properly represented, go to broadbandmap.fcc.gov. If the information is accurate, there aren't any other steps for you to take. If it's inaccurate, you can let the FCC know.