The companies will also have to make "direct financial commitments" to both improve their networks and offer compensation for some customers. These include a $25 million investment on Frontier's part to boost its upstate capacity, while Altice will pay $5 million to subscribers who didn't get equipment capable of fulfilling expected speeds. All of the providers will have to ensure they provide modems and routers that can handle advertised speeds, including free replacements.
This is just a New York agreement focused on major providers, and there are still areas where you might not get everything you'd like. Just because you can stream Netflix doesn't mean you're getting every last megabit, for instance. Nonetheless, it might benefit residents if the state is diligent in enforcing the terms. It's no secret that ISPs tend to oversell their performance while skimping on capacity and foisting outdated gear on subscribers -- this could raise the baseline quality of service for millions of people.