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About Ben Kallos

New York City Council Member Ben Kallos was praised by the New York Times for his “fresh ideas” and elected in 2013 to represent the Upper East Side, Midtown East, Roosevelt Island and East Harlem along with all 8.4 million New Yorkers in the New York City Council.  He grew up on the Upper East Side with his mother, who still lives in the neighborhood, and his grandparents, who fled anti-Semitism in Europe. As Vice-Chair of the Jewish Caucus he has been an ardent advocate for Israel and supporter of Jewish causes.

As Chair of the Governmental Operations Committee where he has sought to root out patronage, de-privatize government, eliminate billions in waste, expand elections, and to use technology to improve access to government.  He has become a leading advocate for education, affordable housing, public health, sustainable development and transportation improvements and safety.  His office is open and transparent, with constituents invited to decide on how to spend one million dollars on local projects in the district as well as to join him in a conversation on the First Friday of each month, or he will go to them if they can gather ten neighbors for “Ben In Your Building.”

Most Recent Newsletter

Affordable High-Speed Broadband Internet for Low-Income Youth & Seniors

Today, over one million low-income youth and seniors now have access to affordable high-speed internet.

As of 2015, more than 730,000 households in New York City do not have broadband, nearly 1 in 4 in Brooklyn and 1 in 3 in the Bronx, leaving them on the wrong side of the digital divide.

In 2013, I promised to secure affordable broadband for low-income New Yorkers from our internet franchisers. In 2015, when Charter Communications sought to merge with Time Warner Cable, I joined Public Advocate James testifying at hearings and advocating for the Public Service Commission to require any company acquiring Time Warner Cable help bridge the digital divide by providing low-income residents with low-cost high-speed broadband Internet which was secured by Governor Andrew Cuomo and an order of the Public Service Commission. Today, over one million low-income youth and seniors will have access low-cost high-speed broadband Internet. Learn more from the release, the announcement, or coverage in the New York Daily News, DNAinfo, and NBC

Spectrum Internet Assist
$14.99 per month for 30 Mbps downloads and 4 Mbps uploads, email and more
No contract, no cost for modem and no activation fees

Spectrum Internet Assist Eligibility
Families with children in public schools who receive free or reduced cost lunch
Seniors (over 65) who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Prospective enrollees must clear outstanding debt to Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House Networks from previous 12 months and may not have had broadband subscription within 30 days of signing up.

Visit SpectrumInternetAssist.com or Call 844-525-1574

We are one step closer to "Universal Broadband" and I will continue to fight until every New Yorker has access to affordable high-speed Internet and no one is left on the wrong side of the digital divide.

Updates

Press Coverage
Village Voice
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Elected officials have joined the war against e-bikes: in December, East Side councilmen Dan Garodnick and Ben Kallos issued a “report card” grading restaurants. Establishments that used e-bikes for delivery automatically received failing grades. Kallos told the Voice that he would like to see doormen refuse entry to delivery workers using e-bikes.

Read more

Press Coverage
DNAinfo.com
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Councilman Ben Kallos has set aside $1 million in capital funds under the participatory budgeting program to go toward improvement projects on the Upper East Side. Starting Saturday, residents of District 5 who are 14 and older can vote on which ones should receive the money.

 
Read more

Press Coverage
West Side Spirit
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Low-income seniors and families now have access to high-speed internet service for less than 15 dollars per month through a new program available to customers of Charter Communications, the cable giant that acquired Time Warner Cable last year and offers broadband service in New York through its Spectrum brand.

“Over a million New Yorkers will have access to low-cost broadband” through the Spectrum Internet Assist program, City Council Member Ben Kallos said at an event announcing the initiative at Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center on East 93rd Street last week.

“This new service will ensure internet access is no longer a luxury that goes to the few, but is rather treated as a basic necessity in the 21st Century,” said New York City Public Advocate Letitia James.

Read more

Press Coverage
DNAinfo.com
Thursday, March 16, 2017

The new service is meant to "bridge the digital divide" and bring the "absolute necessity" to those who haven't been able to afford it until now, according to Public Advocate Letitia James, who announced the service on Thursday at the Stanley Isaacs Community Center with Councilman Ben Kallos — both spearheaded the push for more affordable internet.

Charter's lead offer for residential high-speed internet at 100MB is $44.99 a month. 

Stanley Isaacs resident Ron Riley, 41, said that he'll now be able to afford internet access instead of relying on his smartphone. His son has a learning disability and frequently uses the phone's internet to watch educational videos.

"This is going to help get him online so he can watch YouTube and the programs he watches to learn," Riley told DNAinfo New York. "This will help me take care of him."

 

Read more

Press Coverage
New York Daily News
Thursday, March 16, 2017

State regulators gave the Connecticut-based communication company permission last year to buy Time Warner Cable on the condition that it upgrade broadband speeds and expand high-speed Web service to low-income consumers.

City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) and Public Advocate Letitia James supported the sale conditions.

“Access to affordable high-speed internet should not be a luxury reserved for few — it is increasingly important for everyone to have access in today’s society," James said in a statement.

Read more

Press Coverage
NBC News 4 New York
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Elderly and low-income New Yorkers will soon have access to affordable high-speed internet, thanks to a new product from Charter Communications.

Spectrum Internet Assist offers qualifying seniors and families high-speed broadband internet for $14.99 a month. Standard features like email inboxes, internet security software and a modem are included for free.

 

Public Advocate Letitia James and City Councilman Ben Kallos announced the initiative at the Stanley Issacs Community Center on East 93rd Street Thursday.

"Access to affordable high-speed internet should not be a luxury reserved for few -- it is increasingly important for everyone to have access in today's society," said James. "New Yorkers young and old depend on internet access for basic life functions but too often do not have access in their own homes because services are truly cost prohibitive."

 

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