ALBANY, N.Y. – During the 2021 State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced a proposal to require affordable internet for low-income families.
Under the proposal, all internet providers would be required to offer affordable service at $15 per month to low-income households.
"I propose we pass a first in the nation mandate, that internet service providers recognize their public responsibility and offer $15 per month high-speed internet service to all low-income households,” said Cuomo. “Also, to bridge the gap during COVID and to subsidize broadband for our most vulnerable children, we'll establish a fund for families that cannot afford the $15 per month.”
He says the average cost of internet in New York is more than $50 per month.
In 2021, high-speed, reliable broadband isn’t a luxury—it’s a requirement. Access means nothing if it isn't affordable.
I’m proposing legislation to mandate ISPs offer a $15/mo plan for low-income households.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 12, 2021
The affordability requirements are part of the state’s 2021 connectivity agenda, which also includes protecting consumers through better disclosures, promoting broadband build-out and market competition, and new digital inclusion efforts.
There are two more parts of the governor’s State of the State address, which he will give in the coming days.
On Monday, he provided an overview of the top priorities for the state this year, including defeating COVID and ramping up vaccine distribution.