If you’ve seen your internet bill lately, then you might notice that it’s rather high for the services that you receive if you don’t have cable or other components added. Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to change that by passing a law for low-income customers. This law would allow customers to pay only $15 a month for internet. While it would be beneficial for those who can’t afford to pay the high prices associated with internet and bridge the gap between those who are able to utilize the services that the internet offers, some companies see it as a bad idea. They have filed a suit against Governor Cuomo to attempt to block the law from being passed as the companies could lose a significant amount of money if customers only have to pay such a minimal amount.
The reason behind the law is that Governor Cuomo wants all residents to have access to the same basic utility services. With more information being available online, classes held online, keeping the family entertained while staying at home by playing online games, streaming TV shows and movies online, and more ways to connect with others available online, internet is often considered by many one of the basic utilities that homes need. The law would allow customers to pay $15 a month for internet no matter where they live or how much they make.
The New York State Telecommunications Association doesn’t like the idea that customers would only need to pay $15 for high-speed internet. There are policies in place on a federal level that keep states from interfering with the rates of internet services. One thing to keep in mind is that the service in question hasn’t been regulated in the past by the state of federal government.
Companies that provide internet services typically offer various rate plans to make it affordable for customers to have internet instead of paying the full price. There are plans that only feature internet and plans that offer basic cable along with slower internet speeds. While this might not be the ideal solution for customers, it is a way for them to have internet so that they can perform research and connect with others when desired. There are also federal programs in place that allow for subsidies that are paid to internet companies so that customers don’t have to pay the full amount of their bill.
The law in New York begins June 15, 2021. Customers have an option of basic internet service for $15 a month or an upgraded option with faster speeds for $20 a month. Those who have submitted the lawsuit feel that New York is trying to interfere with regulated rates and has no business trying to make these changes. There have been calls to several people in the state including Bob Puckett as he is the president of the New York State Telecommunications Association. Unfortunately, the calls made have been unanswered for the most part.
Spectrum is one of the companies that hasn’t connected to the lawsuit filed but is reviewing the details and could insert the company’s opinion in the future. There is a low-cost option that Spectrum offers so that customers have the ability to go online when they want. Another company that offers a plan that is comparable to the law is Verizon. Governor Cuomo has expressed that he isn’t pleased with the lawsuit and sees that there are numerous differences that have come to the forefront during the COVID pandemic. His goal is to put these differences aside so that more people can be on a level playing field with utility services.