Getting fast internet service is a challenge in Yates County

There’s a difference between what broadband internet services federal and state officials say Yates County residents have access to, and what residents actually have experienced. When it comes to attracting more providers, or encouraging the existing providers to expand services, local officials will have to work to convince state and federal agencies to pitch in.

Yates County Legislators heard a report July 9 about Yates County internet service based on a survey and in-depth analysis of services and residents’ experiences. The bottom line is that although the Federal Communications Commission says there are nine Internet Service Providers serving customers in Yates County, the reality is that a majority of the ISPs only serve a handful of residents. When it comes to funding projects to expand services, federal officials will point to the nine providers they say are providing service here, and state officials are likely to say a satellite service can provide connectivity to those rural customers where broadband, DSL, or cable service does not exist. That way, federal and state officials can say there is connectivity in the area, despite the reality in most rural homes, where some struggle to keep pace with the connected world.

“The FCC’s reported coverage versus the (survey) respondent data indicate the service territories are inaccurate and need an update,” said ECC Technologies marketing executive Meridith Carroll.

Furthermore, according to the speed tests that internet customers in Yates County submitted for the survey, half of the 743 Yates County customers who replied are experiencing download speeds of 0-4 megabits per second, far below the advertised speeds for “high-speed” internet.

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