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Internet providers file lawsuit over New York’s $15 service mandate for low-income families

The trade groups representing telecommunications companies in New York are fighting the state legally over the low-income broadband law.

It requires internet service providers to offer low-cost, high-speed internet to low-income families and homes.

Under the law providers are forced to offer a plan for $15 per month.

However, a lawsuit filed late this week argues that the state doesn’t have rate-setting authority. Furthermore, they argue that it will hurt companies’ ability to upgrade networks.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit:

“COVID hasn’t only threatened the health and well-being of New Yorkers, but it exposed the many injustices preventing millions of people from building a prosperous life. Now more than ever, it’s critical we break down these barriers and ensure every New Yorker is able to take part in our post-COVID recovery.

The fact is, this is the 21st century and whether you point to remote education, telecommuting, telehealth or otherwise, broadband holds great power. Simply put – it’s become an essential service and that’s why it was so important to ensure affordable internet was available for low-income New Yorkers.

I knew giant telecom companies would be upset by our efforts to level the playing field, and right on cue, they’re pushing back. This is nothing more than a transparent attempt by billion-dollar corporations putting profit ahead of creating a more fair and just society.

Let me be abundantly clear – providing internet in the Empire State is not a god given right. If these companies want to pick this fight, impede the ability of millions of New Yorkers to access this essential service and prevent them from participating in our economic recovery, I say bring it on.”