The Big Apple Considers “Internet For All”

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Estimates show that 29 percent or nearly one million households in New York City don’t have access to broadband service, according to a report from Controller Scott Stringer. Next year, an “Internet for All” public broadband service might be an option, reported the Daily News.

Many who have broadband access in the city are locked in with Charter Spectrum and are stuck with high prices, a slow network, and a company that has engaged in anti-worker practices, according to the Daily News.

In 2020, Charter Spectrum’s franchise agreement that allows the company to operate in NYC is set to expire. The company failed to expand its network to 145,000 unserved customers and misled the government about the status of its expansion. The contract expiration will make room for alternative options and competition, per the Daily News.

The Internet for All concept is predicated on the state and city covering costs to construct a broadband network with a public agency building and operating it. Consumers would then be charged a reasonable fee to obtain access to the network.

Other cities already have public broadband options, like Chattanooga, which was the first to install a public, fiber-optic network back in 2010. Chattanooga provides residents with speeds 166 times faster than the standard download service currently offered by Charter Spectrum in NYC. The Daily News says Internet for All can offer lower prices, better service and good jobs — a win-win-win for all New Yorkers.

September 3, 2019

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