Broadband in the Tug Hill Region and Beyond

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the issues with broadband on Tug Hill were elevated. Areas of greatest concern are households, especially low-income households, with kindergarten through 12th grade children attending school virtually; households of persons with telehealth needs; and households with people teleworking. Recognizing this need in Tug Hill communities, a partnership was created to address broadband issues in a nine-county region, including Cortland, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oswego, Oneida, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, and Saint Lawrence counties. 

With the sheer number of internet service providers who keep their build-out and territory maps close to their vest (as they consider it proprietary and privileged information), it is no surprise that existing broadband mapping resources are inadequate for addressing localized broadband access concerns. Furthermore, the lack of technological neutrality—the freedom of individuals and organizations to choose the most appropriate and suitable technology to their needs—and competition creates another significant barrier to broadband build out. Before being able to find broadband solutions, an individual, community, regional partners, and other key actors and stakeholders must first have a grasp on where the broadband infrastructure is (and is not) as well as why some households and businesses are not subscribing to internet services available in their area.

The New York State Tug Hill Commission has supported the broadband study efforts across the region and has begun building a data sharing network in the hopes of identifying technical solutions and appropriate grant funding for those solutions. 

If you would like a general overview of broadband expansion efforts in nationally and in states across the nation, the commission recommends reading this article by the Rockefeller Institute: With Billions for Broadband Incoming, How Have State and Local Governments Expanded High-Speed Internet Access? | Rockefeller Institute of Government ( You can also learn some basic broadband concepts on our website: Broadband Concepts, Broadband Videos, and Broadband Resources.

Broadband Map

Note: As data becomes available for target areas, the commission will update the map. Furthermore, once 2020 census data are available, the commission will update the census data layers.

Contact the commission at [email protected] if you would like to include this map on your website.