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Friday, August 14, 2020

Letters

Hulk Slams Sullivan Internet

Jul 2, 2020

To the editor:
During a recent interview, Jimmy Kimmel had asked Callicoon resident (and The Hulk) Mark Ruffalo why he wasn't taking the interview from home. He was blunt. “I'm here because our internet sucks,” he said. “How can we not have internet in rural New York at this point?” Great question.
In 2015, Governor Cuomo announced a new broadband program that would bring high-speed internet to all corners of the state. It would open up new opportunities for small businesses looking to grow, it would give students new ways to learn through technology, and yes, we might finally be able to stream a movie without waiting for it to buffer for an hour.
Unfortunately, these promises haven't come to fruition in large parts of Sullivan County. We've seen Charter Communications' bottom line continue to grow while many here are left with substandard internet services. People are often quoted thousands of dollars by Charter to run cable lines out to their homes. This is despite the fact that they could see decades of revenue increases from that infrastructure buildout.
We need to face the fact that profit-driven companies facing practically no competition do not have our communities' best interests in mind. This is where municipal broadband programs (MBPs) come in. MBPs come in all shapes and sizes, but the general concept is that communities own and operate their own networks. Countless examples across the country, including in rural areas, show they can work.
An investment in broadband is an investment in our entire community. It has the potential to expand our tax base, revitalize our economy, and reshape our rural areas. COVID-19 has forever changed the way we work and communicate with one another, and we need to be prepared for the future. That's why I'll be introducing a bill to give our municipalities the tools they need to create these types of projects.
We can no longer sit by and watch as other states create innovative new ways to provide services to their residents. Instead of giving handouts to multi-national, multi-billion dollar corporations, let's take that money and reinvest it here at home — and make our internet not suck.


Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther
Forestburgh




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