The internet could soon become a benefit of every apartment in New York, at no extra cost, if a new law is passed by the city’s city council. Councilor Ben Kallos presented the project on Thursday (7), which considers that connectivity is a right of every resident, as well as water and electricity.
The text proposes that all new constructions within the “Big Apple” already have the necessary wiring for the internet installed, while buildings with 10 or more apartments have to start offering free broadband internet by January 2026.
If approved, building owners will be able to negotiate the service for all units directly with the provider companies, which could mean a discount of more than 50% off the contract, according to estimates by Time Out New York magazine.
The values can not be transferred to tenants, however, if the resident wants an increase in speed compared to that offered by the building, he may pay an extra fee.
An aid fund for financially distressed building owners would also be created through the new bill. About 500,000 New Yorkers still do not have access to the Internet, estimates the councilor.
He told the publication that the lack of internet affects not only schooling and the possibility of remote work for the city’s inhabitants, but even vaccination rates.
“A recent study published by the CDC identified that covid-19 vaccination was significantly associated with Internet access at home in New York. You can’t get vaccinated if you can’t go online to make an appointment. This pandemic showed. that the internet is a necessity,” he said.
New York City had already announced in March 2021 that all affordable housing projects subsidized by the city should include free internet access for the resident. The new project, which may expand access to the network, is now being analyzed by the Chamber, with no voting forecast yet.