Hauppauge, NY - July 9, 2015 - Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst) recently joined with his colleagues, community groups and various private citizens, at a public hearing held by the Public Service Commission. The purpose of the hearing was to gather information from municipalities and related local interests to determine if the state of telecommunications is meeting the needs and demands of New York.
To date, there are countless Suffolk County residents who do not have access to Verizon FiOS or other providers of similar services. The Town of Brookhaven, the Village of Babylon and the Oak Beach community are some of the most notable affected areas when it comes to this issue. Residents in these communities are forced to buy the services of the only available provider, namely Cablevision, which essentially has created a de facto monopoly.
“I can certainly feel for the residents of Brookhaven, as many of my constituents, particularly those in Babylon Village and Oak Beach, are not getting the technology they need,” said McCaffrey. “What is really incomprehensible is that some neighborhoods in my district have FiOS wiring running through them, yet the residents cannot acquire the services. Everyone in Suffolk County deserves to benefit from competitive pricing and the ability to have choices.”
The expansion of FiOS in Suffolk County and the rest of New York is something that has been heavily promoted by Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Furthermore, New York State has expressed an interest in investing $500,000,000 to bring high speed internet services to more residents. This has only strengthened the resolve of those who believe the time is now for the Public Service Commission to intervene and require certain expansion projects.
McCaffrey explained that, “Investing in our technology infrastructure only makes sense, because in today’s information-based society, things like the internet are no longer a luxury. Also, we must not lose sight of the fact that the expansion of telecommunications can help the economy, specifically through job creation and security. For example, the Communications Workers of America, who build and maintain telecommunications networks, would be well poised to hire should an expansion of services materialize.”
The Public Service Commission is still in its information-gathering stage with respect to this matter. McCaffrey added, “The final course of action has not yet been decided, but I think it is abundantly clear that the people of Suffolk County want jobs, choices, competitive prices, and the tools needed to live and compete in the 21st century.”
Legislator McCaffrey represents Suffolk County’s 14th Legislative District which encompasses the Village of Lindenhurst, Babylon Village, the hamlets of West Babylon and North Lindenhurst, portions of Copiague, North Babylon, and Babylon’s barrier beach communities.