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Court says state can force broadband providers offer $15 internet service for low income families

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  • Staff Report 

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled on Friday that New York State can implement a law mandating internet service providers to offer discounted broadband rates to low-income households. This decision overturns a 2021 lower court ruling that had blocked the policy shortly before its scheduled implementation.


Under the law, internet companies are required to provide broadband service to qualifying New Yorkers for as low as $15 a month or face state-imposed fines. The legislation was challenged by telecommunications trade groups, which argued that it imposed undue financial burdens and conflicted with federal regulations overseeing internet services.

Despite industry opposition citing concerns over investment and sustainability, New York legislators advocated for the law, emphasizing the necessity of affordable internet access for all residents. The law was initially passed in 2021, framed as a crucial step to ensure connectivity in increasingly digital times.