ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A group of New York state lawmakers are gathering in Albany to look at ways to expand access to broadband internet in rural and remote parts of the state.

The Legislature's Joint Commission on Rural Resources and the Assembly Standing Committee on Local Governments plan to meet Tuesday for a public hearing focused on rural broadband.

The state has spent millions of dollars to enhance rural internet access, with officials saying it plays a vital role in not just in quality of life but also emergency services and the overall economy.

Last week Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of a new state task force to look at another rural communications problem: cell phone coverage.

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