Albany, NY – Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) announced the passage of legislation included in the state budget which ensures that that affordable broadband service is available to all low-income New Yorkers by requiring broadband service providers to offer low-cost broadband service plans to low-income customers. “The challenges we have faced this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have made it abundantly clear that affordable internet access must be accessible for all New Yorkers,” Paulin said.
The state now requires internet service providers to offer an affordable $15/month for a basic broadband internet plan, or $20/month for a high-speed plan, to eligible low-income households. Currently, a basic high-speed internet plan costs, on average, more than $50/month, which too many people cannot afford. The legislation also requires providers to advertise this option to ensure it reaches low-income populations across the state. The required broadband download speed will also be reviewed every 5 years to assure that all New Yorkers have affordable access to an up-to-date benchmark minimum speed.
“Internet access has become an essential service in its own right - from working at home to online learning, no one can successfully participate in 21st Century life without the internet,” said Assemblymember Paulin. “No New Yorker should be without broadband internet service because they cannot afford a robust connection, and no one suffering from the economic impact of the pandemic should lose access because they have lost their income.”