Affordable High-Speed Internet for New York City’s Low-Income Families and Seniors Announced by Charter Communications, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James and NYC Council Member Ben Kallos

03/16/2017

NEW YORK CITY – March 16, 2017 – Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) today was joined by New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, and New York City Council Member Ben Kallos to announce the introduction of a new low-cost, high-speed broadband product, Spectrum Internet Assist, in its service areas in New York City.

The announcement was made at the Stanley Isaacs Community Center at the New York City Housing Authority’s Stanley Isaacs and Holmes Towers on East 93rd St. in Manhattan, where eligible families and seniors learned about Spectrum Internet Assist.

Priced at $14.99 per month, Spectrum Internet Assist offers eligible customers speeds up to 30/4 Mbps, which meets and even exceeds the Federal Communications Commission’s definition of “high-speed.” Spectrum Internet Assist includes standard features like email boxes, internet security software and a modem at no additional charge.

Spectrum Internet Assist is now available throughout Charter’s legacy service area, and will continue to be rolled out market-by-market, with a goal of covering the remaining Charter footprint by mid-2017.

Public Advocate Letitia James and Council Member Ben Kallos, with support from colleagues in New York State and City legislatures, testified at hearings and advocated for the Public Service Commission to require any company acquiring Time Warner Cable to bridge the digital divide by providing low-income residents with low-cost, high-speed broadband internet.

“Charter is excited to bring a whole new world of digital access and opportunity to low-income families and seniors. Spectrum Internet Assist is an important next step in providing true high-speed connections to those who would otherwise continue to face a digital inequality in this country,” said Tom Rutledge, Chairman and CEO, Charter Communications. “It’s crucial for cable and broadband providers like us to play a role in bridging the digital divide so that everyone has access to the information and tools they need to succeed in today’s economy,” Rutledge said.

“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 Public Advocate Letitia James. “New Yorkers young and old depend on Internet access for homework, job applications, and basic life functions, but too often do not have access in their own homes because services are truly cost prohibitive. I want to thank Charter Communications for following through on their commitment to provide affordable, high-speed Internet to those who have previously been left out of the digital age.”

“New York is going to narrow the ‘Digital Divide’ by offering one million low-income youth and seniors broadband they can afford for fewer than 50 cents a day. With one million people eligible and less than 732,000 households without broadband, I think that we can finally close the digital divide by providing Universal Broadband in every home,” said New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, a software developer. “Thank you for Governor Andrew Cuomo, Public Service Commission Interim Chair Gregg Sayre, and Charter Communications Chair Tom Rutledge for your partnership and commitment to bring low-cost broadband to low-income New Yorkers to finally bridge the digital divide.”

Spectrum Internet Assist Product Details

  • $14.99/month for up to 30/4Mbps speed package
    • Includes all standard Internet features; i.e. security suite, mailboxes, etc.
    • Includes a modem with no additional charge
  • $5.00/month for Charter WiFi
    • Includes a router
    • Rate cannot be increased during the life of the program
    • Activation fee waived
To assist consumers with the eligibility process and enrollment, Charter has launched a new dedicated Spectrum Internet Assist website: www.SpectrumInternetAssist.com. Prospective enrollees may also call the Spectrum Internet Assist toll-free helpline at 1-844-525-1574 for assistance.
Spectrum Internet Assist Eligibility
  • Families with students who participate in the National School Lunch Program
  • Seniors who are 65 and older who receive Supplemental Security Income program benefits
  • Additional Criteria:
    • Current phone and video customers who meet one of the two criteria above may enroll.
    • Prospective SIA enrollees cannot have had a Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House Networks broadband subscription within 30 days of signing up.
    • Eligible participants will not need to undergo a credit check but they must clear any outstanding debt with Charter, Time Warner Cable or Bright House Networks from the previous 12 months.

 About Spectrum:
Spectrum is a suite of advanced broadband services offered by Charter Communications Inc., a leading broadband communications company and the second largest cable operator in the United States. Spectrum provides a full range of services, including Spectrum TV™ video entertainment programming, Spectrum Internet™ access, and Spectrum Voice™. Spectrum Business® similarly provides scalable, tailored, and cost-effective broadband communications solutions to business organizations, such as business-to-business Internet access, data networking, business telephone, video and music entertainment services, and wireless backhaul. More information about Spectrum can be found at spectrum.com.

New York City Digital Divide Fact Sheet

 

More than 730,000 households in New York City did not have broadband in 2015 according to the United States Census survey of the Percent of Households with a Broadband Internet Subscription. Nearly half of households in New York City without a broadband subscription are in the Bronx and Brooklyn, respectively, nearly one-third (32.5%) and one-quarter (25.6%).

GCT2801-Geography-United States: PERCENT OF HOUSEHOLDS WITH A BROADBAND INTERNET SUBSCRIPTION –
United States -- County by State; and for Puerto Rico - Universe: Households

2015 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates

Population

Households

% Households with Broadband

Margin of Error

# Households with Broadband

# Households without Broadband

% Households without Broadband

  New York State

 19,795,791

  7,262,279

77.80%

+/-0.2

       5,650,053

            1,612,226

22.20%

    Bronx County

   1,455,444

     484,902

67.50%

+/-1.0

          327,309

               157,593

32.50%

    Kings County

   2,636,735

     931,786

74.40%

+/-0.7

          693,249

               238,537

25.60%

    New York County

   1,644,518

     750,419

80.70%

+/-0.8

          605,588

               144,831

8.81%

    Queens County

   2,339,150

     780,644

79.70%

+/-0.5

          622,173

               158,471

6.77%

    Richmond County

      474,558

     165,784

80.90%

+/-1.8

          134,119

                31,665

6.67%

  New York City

   8,550,405

  3,113,535

 

 

       2,382,438

               731,097

8.55%

828,893 children in New York City were eligible for free or reduced cost lunch through the National School Lunch Program (including the Community Eligibility Provision) according to the most recent 2013 reports of the New York State Education Department.

NEW YORK STATE LUNCH AND BREAKFAST PARTICIPATION DATA  

BIG 5 CITIES

 

NEW YORK CITY*

 

LUNCH ELIGIBILITY

2012-13

FREE

739,000

REDUCED

89,893

PAID

5,233

FREE + REDUCED828,893

175,867 seniors in New York City received Supplemental Security Income according to the most recent report 2015 of the Social Security Administration.

Number of SSI recipients by county, December 2015

County

65 or older

Bronx

33,645

Kings

65,403

New York

33,331

Queens

38,475

Richmond

5,013

New York City

175,867

As many as one million New York City low-income youth and seniors may have access to Spectrum Internet Assist, which offers broadband speeds of 30 Mbps for download and 4 Mbps for uploads for only $14.99 a month. Families with students who participate in the National School Lunch Program and seniors who are 65 and older who receive Supplemental Security Income program benefits will be eligible. 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.

Media Contacts:

For Charter:
John Bonomo
John [dot] BonomoatCharter [dot] com
212-598-3413 (Office)
646-946-8680 (Mobile)
 
For Public Advocate Letitia James:
Delaney Kempner
dkempneratpubadvocate [dot] nyc [dot] gov
646-799-3659 (Mobile)
 
For Councilman Ben Kallos:
Josh J. Jamieson
JJamiesonatBenKallos [dot] com
516-369-2921 (Mobile)