ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Local officials gathered Thursday to discuss the Broadband Advisory Task Force and their plans for 2023.

Back in 2021, the task force dedicated $20 million in funding to widening affordable broadband access in Monroe County.

Thursday the group released a study, which determined which specific areas that are lacking service. County Executive Adam Bello said the COVID-19 pandemic brought this problem to the forefront, as most of the community relied on high speed internet for education, work and entertainment.

“High-speed internet is essential infrastructure,” Bello said. “It is necessary. It is not a luxury. And it is [as] critical to the future of our community growth as indoor plumbing, electricity and paved roads.”

Bello noted that some options they are considering to remedy this problem include making free Wi-Fi hotspots available, or providing grant funding to cut the costs of hotspots and Wi-Fi for community members.

A final plan for the allocation of these funds will be made in the coming weeks.