The program will require internet service providers to offer a $15 per month high-speed internet plan to low-income households.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Buffalo Friday to announce that he has signed legislation that would provide affordable internet to low-income families across the state.
The program, which the state says is the first in the nation, will require internet service providers to offer a $15 per month high-speed internet plan to low-income households.
According to the state, 43% of people nationwide earning less than $30,000 are not connected to the internet at home, and 26% of those making $30,000 to $50,000 remain unconnected at home.
Those households that are eligible include families who are eligible or receiving free or reduced-price lunch, SNAP benefits, Medicaid benefits, senior citizen or disability rent increase exemptions, or an affordability benefit from a utility.
“High-speed internet is essential to our everyday lives, and as we continue to reopen our state and adjust to new norms that have been shaped by the pandemic, we need to make sure every household has access to affordable internet,” Governor Cuomo said. “Remote learning, remote working, and telemedicine are not going away. This program – the first of its kind in the nation – will ensure that no New Yorker will have to forego having reliable home internet service and no child’s education will have to suffer due to their economic situation.”
The state is also partnering with Schmidt Futures and the Ford Foundation to launch ConnectED NY, an emergency fund to provide approximately 50,000 students in economically disadvantaged school districts with free internet access through June 2022.
Gov. Cuomo also launched the Affordable Broadband Portal to help New Yorkers find affordable broadband programs in their area.