New law requires $15/month broadband option for low-income families

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Internet service providers (ISPs) are now obligated to offer $15/month high-speed broadband to certain low-income families in New York State.

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Governor Cuomo signed legislation he originally proposed in the 2021 State of the State, creating the first mandate of its kind in the U.S.

New Yorkers qualifying for this affordable internet program include households who are currently eligible or receiving:

  • free or reduced-price lunch;
  • SNAP benefits;
  • Medicaid;
  • senior citizen or disability rent increase exemptions; or
  • an affordability benefit from a utility.

The law also requires providers to report to the Public Service Commission annually on their offers and uptake.

Furthermore, New York State will conduct an in-depth statewide mapping study of broadband to identify the availability, reliability and cost of high-speed broadband services.

This study will map the quality — not just the availability — of coverage and report on its findings within one year.

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