In 2009, New York enjoyed an average internet service download speed of 8.4 mbps, up from 7.1 mbps in 2008 and putting it fifth in the rankings. A 2008 survey showed 78% of residents had some kind of DSL service from their ISP, although 48% of households had no high speed broadband service.
The importance of broadband internet services was recognized by the formation in 2008 of the New York State Council for Universal Broadband, which aims to increase the availability and uptake of the service. To do this, it intends to obtain grant funding and has undertaken a mapping program to identify areas of need. Maps have been developed using public services and a predictive model, with no input from internet providers.
September 2009 saw 22 applications for grants put forward, with around $775 million being sought. In December 2009, two applicants were granted a total of $45 million. A partnership between ION and the Development Authority of the North Country got $39.7 million to develop a regional network connecting over 100 community institutions and making a service available to 250,000 households and 38,000 businesses. Internet provider Slic Network Solutions received $5.4 million to build a fiber optic cable network for remote rural areas.
In August 2009, the City of Albany in partnership with Tech Valley Communications received a grant from New York State to expand its free wireless internet access. The state has a concentration of wifi hotspots down its eastern boundary and throughout New York City plus other large areas of population.
Verizon Wireless and IPWireless have both increased or developed 3G networks during 2009. July 2009 brought the announcement of plans by the New York State Metropolitan Transport Authority to introduce wireless broadband at stations and in passenger cars.
With a largely continental climate, New York has long, cold winters and warm summers. It established the first state park at Niagara Falls in 1885 and the Adirondack Park is the largest one in the US.
New York City is the most populous city in the country and the state's next - Buffalo, Rochester and Yonkers - are a fraction of its size. The state capital is Albany. Farms make up a quarter of the land and the state is the largest cabbage producer in the US. It is also a major financial, cultural, transportation and manufacturing center.
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Cities in New York likely to have, or soon to receive, fiber optic cable internet services include New York, Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, Syracuse and Albany. Locations in NY with highest population counts will be targeted first by providers, though relatively high speeds can be achieved with dial-up or DSL through companies such as Netzero and Charter Communications Cable.