This week, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer visited Herkimer County after an infrastructure bill he negotiated, passed in the Senate, During the visit, Schumer announced the bill includes $65 billion in funding to expand access to high-speed internet in underserved rural and urban communities across the nation, including parts of the Mohawk Valley.
Schumer said, “nearly 20,000 homes and businesses – accounting for 3.8% of the population – lack modern internet access in the counties that make up the Mohawk Valley, according to a report from the New York State Comptroller. These statistics show that Mohawk Valley has the second highest percentage of its population without high-speed internet, behind only the North Country,” a statement reads.
In Oneida County, with a population of 228,671, there are 6,631 residents without access to broadband, according to information from Schumer’s office. In Herkimer County, there are 3,924 of 61,319 total county residents going without access to broadband internet.
“Long before COVID-19, rural and urban communities throughout the Mohawk Valley have struggled to close the digital divide,” said Schumer in a statement. “Access to reliable, fast internet service is crucial to success in today’s modern economy, which is why I fought to include a historic investment to expand high-speed internet access to underserved communities in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.”