Ulster County Executive Mike Hein Urges The Public Service Commission To Promote The Growth Of High Speed Broadband Service

Posted August 11, 2015

Calls Current Commission Policy An “Abject Failure” That Must Change

Kingston, N.Y. — Ulster County Executive Mike Hein reminds Ulster County residents and businesses of upcoming opportunities to tell the Public Service Commission (PSC) how important reliable, efficient, and affordable access to the internet, voice and video is to you.  The PSC released its Telecommunications Assessment report on the current state of telecommunications in New York in June and is now seeking public input. The Report can be found by clicking here.

“According to the PSC’s own data (see figure 13a), its existing policy on expanding broadband to rural communities is an abject failure and it must change immediately.  High-speed broadband service in the 21st Century has become as important as electricity was in the prior century.  Reliable, efficient, and affordable access to the Internet is fundamental to Ulster New York State’s continued economic development, business retention and expansion, educational opportunities, healthcare, quality of life, and public safety.  As stated in my letter to the PSC, it is important that the PSC be made aware of the challenges many in New York State face to obtain adequate affordable access to broadband and other telecommunication services,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein.  “The lack of universal access to this critical utility service in many of our communities and neighborhoods has left too many small businesses and residents unable to access essential information and services, compete in an increasingly digital marketplace, and provide much-needed educational opportunities for their families.  As the Assessment correctly states, ‘Access to the internet is essential to participation in modern society.’”

The PSC will hold two sessions to hear public comments on its Telecommunications Assessment Report. The hearings are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday August 11, 2015

Poughkeepsie Town all located at 1 Overrocker Road Poughkeepsie New York 

Information Session 2:00 p.m. Public Statement Hearing 3:00 p.m.

Information Session 6:00 p.m.  Public Statement Hearing 7:00 p.m

Members of the public may also comment by:

Email: Kathleen H. Burgess, PSC Secretary at secretary[at]dps.ny[dot]gov 

Mail:    Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350. Comments should refer to "Case 14-C-0370.”

Call Toll Free: 1-800-335-2120. Press 1 - Leave comments refer to Case 14-C-0370 Press “1”

Comments are requested to be submitted no later August 24, 2015, but will be accepted throughout the proceeding.

To access written comments visit the Commission’s website and search for Case 14-C-0370 in the input box labeled "Search for Case Number" and clicking on the “Public Comments” tab.  You may also post your comments at this location by clicking on the post comments section located at the top of the page.

Attachments:  Letter from Ulster County Executive Mike Hein to the Public Service Commission and Map