Low-Income Students and Seniors to See $14.99 Affordable Broadband Under New York State Public Service Commission Approved Merger of Time Warner Cable into Charter

01/08/2016

Quotes for attribution to Council Member Ben Kallos, New York City Council Chair of Governmental Operations:
New York, NY –  “More than one million low-income students and seniors in New York will finally have access to affordable broadband , training and computers.” 
“More than 875,000 New York City students receiving free and reduced lunch in our public schools will no longer face the ‘home work gap’ because they are on the wrong side of the digital divide, with broadband in the home for $14.99 a month and $199 laptops.”
 
“Low-income seniors, receiving supplemental social security income (SSI), will now have broadband in the home for $14.99 with the free training they need to use computers to learn, share and connect with loved ones.”
 
“Fifty centers throughout New York State will provide entire communities with internet access where they are.”
 
“Cable customer service, often rated as the worst, is about to get better with a commitment to keep customer facing jobs for the next four years and invest $50 million in service quality improvements over the next two years with a goal of reducing complaint rates  at the Public Service Commission by 35% by the end of 2021 or face requirement to invest millions more.”
 
“Thank you to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his commitment to bridging the digital divide by requiring cable mergers like Charter-Time Warner are in the public interest empowering Chair Zibelman to issue an order that will make broadband  accessible and affordable for millions of New Yorkers.”
 
Background:
 
New York City Council Member Ben Kallos led a coalition with Public Advocate Tish James, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer with letters on June 2014 and September 2015 seeking the following items which were provided under today’s deal:

  • Affordable broadband for free and reduced lunch recipients
  • Affordable broadband based on income for New Yorkers, in this case, seniors receiving supplemental social security income (SSI)
  • Free broadband at 50 Community Centers throughout New York State
  • Commitment to improving service quality with requirements to invest in the event that goals fall short.