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NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Mon, 13 Sep 2010
Contact: Alison Heaphy
(518) 442-4598

Residents Invited to Participate in the State's Efforts to Increase High-Speed Internet Access

Albany, NY - New York residents are invited to participate in a process that will contribute to the State's efforts to increase high-speed Internet access by testing the speed of their broadband Internet connection. A newly launched website, www.nyspeedtest.org, allows residents to partake in the speed test that will help New York map unserved and underserved areas. The mapping will facilitate deployment of high-speed Internet access across the State, increase digital literacy programs, and spur economic development.

The speed-testing initiative is being conducted as part of the New York's Broadband Mapping Program. The State has received approximately $2.5 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funding, through the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, for broadband mapping and planning activities. Governor David Paterson has designated the New York State Office of Cyber Security (OCS) as the lead agency for broadband mapping in New York State.

The speed test website is hosted by the University at Albany's Center for Technology in Government (CTG), which is partnering with OCS to independently test and collect the speed of broadband service available to New York residents.

CTG is recruiting residents from all areas within the State where broadband Internet service is available to take the speed test from their home computers. Taking the speed test is fast and simple. The test measures the time it takes for a resident’s computer to send (upload) and receive (download) information. Residents will be able to view real-time information about the quality of their broadband connection, as well as information about the speed they need in order to access the types of Internet services of most interest to them.

CTG will collect, analyze, and report the results to OCS, which will use the data within state-of-the-art electronic mapping systems to increase the overall accuracy and completeness of the statewide broadband map.

Increased broadband access and faster speeds are critical tools for enabling citizens to better connect with government, creating jobs, promoting public safety and education, and delivering essential services such as healthcare.

By 2015, New York State has set a goal to achieve an average network connectivity speed of at least 20 megabits per second for both uploading and downloading, and 100 megabits per second in each direction within the Digital Corridor, which includes the greater New York City region and areas near the Thruway. The speed test results will help New York State to obtain a richer, more detailed picture of the current broadband environment

"The Office of Cyber Security is the lead for New York State's broadband mapping program and we're pleased to move into this phase of broadband speed verification," said Thomas Smith, OCS Director. "We encourage New Yorkers to participate in this speed testing initiative, which will provide valuable input and assist us in furthering the State’s efforts to enhance broadband access."

"According to surveys, most New York State residents don’t know the speed of their internet connection," said Donna Canestraro, program manager at the Center for Technology in Government. "Knowing their speed and why it matters can help support a whole new level of innovative Web-based applications that can have enormous benefits to consumers, but will require download and uploads speeds much faster than what most consumers are currently experiencing."

New York State residents are encouraged to take the speed test by visiting: www.nyspeedtest.org

For more information about the broadband mapping program, visit the NYS Office of Cyber Security at http://www.cscic.state.ny.us/broadband/.

The mission of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance. We carry out this mission through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration at the intersection of policy, management, and technology. For more information visit www.ctg.albany.edu.

The University at Albany-SUNY has a broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, life-enhancing research and scholarship, and a commitment to public service. A University at Albany education brings the world within reach to students through nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. A student body of more than 17,000 students has a global connection to more than 140,000 alumni. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.htm.