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NY State initiated a $500 million project in 2015 to expand broadband coverage throughout the state. It worked pretty well:

"In comparison with the other fifty states, New York is the second most well-connected State in the US."
What matters is the quality, availability and coverage. Being the best bowler in a group with a score of 100 isn't really good. Being the best golfer in a group by finishing 72 over par isn't really good. The existence of bowlers who average in the high 200s and golfers who average below par put those numbers in perspective. The lack of more than one state that is "better" than NY places NY state at #2, but is quality, availability and coverage excellent or adequate?

The survey linked was based on population. NY has a high concentration of population with access to cable internet and wireless internet which helps push them ahead of other states. Whether that service is affordable and more than just a baseline service is not part of the statistic.

The availability of higher speeds is lower in upstate NY - just like most states. Rural areas rely on lower speed coverage and are often considered covered due to higher priced options.
 

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The writing was in the wall, unseen by the eastern New York folks running locast.
Intentionally IGNORANT of the law. A lot like Aereo who came up with some personal interpretation of the law and thought they found some convoluted loophole that would make their service legal.

I will give credit to Locast, Aereo and LocalBTV for restricting their rebroadcasts to the local DMA of each station (apparently they discovered that modern law). And I'll give credit to LocalBTV to seeking permission to rebroadcast. The #1 way to avoid copyright problems is to get permission to use the content!

And it appears they simply ran out of money to expand more as the numbers of subscribers simply didn't materialize. Unless they can entice some big investment money in the near future, they'll be dead.
How are the monetizing the service? As far as I can tell the subscribers are not paying. Are they selling ads? Their website mentions "ChannelBTV" where any channel any market can join for a low fee of $350 per year per 1000 streams. Is that how they are making money to cover expenses?

I will give credit to Locast and Aereo for having some plan to collect money to support their service (whether or not their service offering was legal). "And how do we monetize that?" should be the first question answered when starting a service. Who is going to invest if there is no plan to turn a profit?
 

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The public airwaves are still public, open and free. The broadcast license does not cover alternative means of delivery. SCOTUS did rule on that. The supreme court ruling is the reason why we have the permissive laws we have today that allow rebroadcast of local TV within certain restrictions. Without those permissive laws there would be no rebroadcast. Retransmission would simply be banned. The permissive laws were the remedy (the alternate remedy would be getting the agreement of every content owner before retransmitting their content).

Granting a broadcast license does not obligate a TV station to allow their signal to be retransmitted. If you want to change that, Congress is that a way. Ignoring all laws since the 1950's is not the solution since that would lead to no rebroadcasts.
 

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I believe you may have forgotten some of the history over the years. Feel free to check the case laws, supreme court decisions and history of the laws that now allow retransmission.

Early "CATV" was community antenna TV systems (some may call them common antenna TV). The earliest systems were very basic ... OTA signals were received on a tall tower or hill (or a combination of the two) and amplified and distributed via coax to homes. The most basic level of CATV was just a shared antenna that allowed people to receive the signals without putting up their own antennas on towers or moving to a hill. The more advanced systems would shift channels from their original channel frequency to another frequency (6 MHz block down conversion). I visited one community cable head end in the 1990s that still had block down conversion equipment (not a receiver connected to a modulator passing composite signals but an all RF signal path).

Regulation was minimal ... whatever the CATV company could receive they would transmit. There was no requirement to carry a minimal number of local channels. The system could pick and choose what was carried. The first CATV system I watched was the amplified antenna variety (no channel conversion). Nothing on that system originated from outside what today would be called a "DMA".

After spending time out of the country I returned to a different city. This second CATV system served three communities 25 miles apart. The head end in the eastern city could pick up stations 100 miles away and the three systems were linked via microwave. We had the major network stations from three DMAs on our local cable plus the channels from 100-125 miles away that carried their local major sports teams.

None of the stations were protected ... it was up to the cable system to decide whether or not to carry each channel. And while one can spout altruistic messages about "helping" local stations reach viewers in their market, these systems were also "helping" competing stations.

Imagine if you had the best engineered station in town with the clearest signal and furthest reach. The next station in town got a full power but lower coverage license. With no "help" from CATV your signal would reach "East Rural Podunk" and the other station would not. So while you are thanking CATV for reaching people who would rather pay to be on a shared antenna than put up their own system, save a sarcastic "thank you" for delivering your competitors signal.

Consider the second CATV system that had competing network signals. If you work at a network affiliate ask how much your station pays for the "exclusive" rights to that programming and then tell me you are happy that some CATV system is providing channels from three areas ... providing competition to your station. How about the syndicated programming your station pays for? Do you want that to be delivered to your viewers via some other station's feed (with the other station's advertising being seen instead of yours)?

While stations complained about the other stations CATV delivered the problem became greater when "CATV" became "Cable TV" in the 1980s. National cable channels were created and delivered to CATV systems via satellite providing additional competition to the local stations.

The biggest insult that stations suffered was watching cable become profitable. Instead of being city operated CATV systems run on a "not for profit" basis, stations were seeing commercial companies turn a profit on rebroadcasting content without sharing that profit with the stations.

"1950's regulation" was not working for the stations ... They sued. They won. Copyright law was applied to the station's feeds. Congress reacted by creating a series of regulations that would ALLOW the rebroadcast of stations within certain limits. Cable companies were required to set aside a percentage of their channels for local stations and offer carriage to all stations within their market until that threshold was met. Stations could claim out of market communities as local and force cable companies to carry their signals (if space was available on the system). And stations could choose whether their station must be carried (without compensation) or whether the cable system must compensate the station for the signal.

Nearly all of the laws I can find have been PERMISSIVE ... allowing cable and satellite to deliver signals that they would not be able to carry without such laws. Yes, there are severe restrictions on what the law permits ... but no new laws would mean no carriage for most stations.
 
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