New York caps the cost of broadband for low-income families

Users will pay $15 for 25 Mbps internet and $20 for broadband over 200 Mbps.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 27: A Verizon Fios truck does essential street work during the COVID-19 pandemic on May 27, 2020 in New York City. Government guidelines encourage wearing a mask in public with strong social distancing in effect as all 50 states in the USA have begun a gradual process to slowly reopen after weeks of stay-at-home measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill requiring all internet service providers (ISPs) to offer $15 per month broadband for low-income users, as Bloomberg has reported. That will significantly lower the price for over 7 million people in 2.7 million households who qualify, as the current average monthly price in the state is $50.

ISPs must provide at least 25 Mbps download speeds or their current low-income internet speeds if those are greater. In centers like New York City where speeds tend to be faster, the bill caps the price of high-speed broadband over 200 Mbps at $20 per month. 

The 25 Mbps figure is what the FCC has defined as broadband since 2015, though a bi-partisan Senate group recently asked the commission to redefine it as 100 Mbps for both uploads and downloads. Still, low-end households will be paying considerably less for the same service. 

On top of the low-income household caps, the state launched the Affordable Broadband Portal to help residents find cheaper internet in their area. Cuomo also announced a partnership with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to provide free internet to around 50,000 students in economically disadvantaged school districts. ISPs have 60 days to implement the new pricing rules. 

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