Op-ed: How to close New York’s digital divide? Slashing red tape is a start

It’s hard to believe in this age of hyper-connectivity, but about half a million people living in New York City and its suburbs still lack access to high-speed broadband despite more than a decade of state and federal programs that have poured billions of dollars into closing the digital divide. It’s a jarring reminder that lack of online access isn’t just a rural issue, but one that strikes nearly at the center of a global hub synonymous with all things modern and high-tech. All told, roughly half of the state’s 1 million households who lack access or a subscription to home broadband services are on Long Island, the Mid-Hudson Valley and New York City, according to a 2021 report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office.

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