NY Voters to Albany: Internet Access is Essential

By AARP NEW YORK | October 22, 2020

NYS 35+ Voter Survey: 1 in 4 Internet Users Limited by Quality, Cost, Availability at Home; 47% are Using Home Internet More than Pre-Pandemic; 87% Urge NYS to Bring High-Speed Internet to All

ALBANY, N.Y.— New York voters 35 and older overwhelmingly say the state should bring affordable, high-speed internet to all, and 72% said they would be more likely to support a candidate who had helped make affordable high-speed internet universally available, a new survey shows.

The survey of 749 registered voters found 47% reported using the internet at home more than in September 2019 before the pandemic, while only 5% said they were using it less.

Specific findings show:

  • About a quarter of internet users say their home internet use has been limited over the past year by cost (25%), availability (26%) or quality (28%);
  • 87% said Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature should take action to bring affordable, high-speed internet to all New Yorkers.

Support for the state creating universal access – and for candidates who had helped promote such a move – was strong among voters registered in both major political parties, according to the survey administered by Alan Newman Research from September 22 to 27.

The Legislature this year passed S8805/A6679, requiring a statewide study of high-speed internet accessibility and affordability. AARP and over 20 other organizations are urging Governor Cuomo to sign the bill once it reaches his desk.

“COVID-19 has made access to affordable high-speed internet a necessity for New Yorkers,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. “We are working, learning, shopping, getting medical care and so much more from home.

“Governor Cuomo and the legislature have taken some big steps toward ensuring more New Yorkers have access to the internet. Enacting legislation to require a thorough statewide analysis would mark another major move to disrupt the digital divide.”

The bill requires the State Public Service Commission to undertake the analysis; the Governor will have 10 days (excluding Sundays) to act on the bill once it reaches his desk.

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About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

Contact: Erik Kriss, [email protected]