New York can’t force broadband providers to offer $15 low-income broadband plans, judge rules

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A decision by Judge Denis Hurley of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York prohibits New York from enforcing a state law that would require broadband providers to sell $15-per-month plans to low-income households. The law was set to go into effect on June 15. Judge Hurley ruled that the state law is preempted by federal law. While the case will continue, Judge Hurley found that the industry is likely to succeed in its lawsuit. The Affordable Broadband Act (ABA) would require ISPs to offer "all qualifying low-income households at least two Internet access plans: (i) download speeds of at least 25 megabits-per-second at no more than $15-per-month, or (ii) download speeds of at least 200 megabits-per-second at no more than $20-per-month," the ruling noted. The low-income qualifications specified by the law cover about 7 million New Yorkers in 2.7 million households, over one-third of all households in the state. The law allows exceptions to the minimum-speed requirement "where such download speed is not reasonably practicable." The New York law "is rate regulation, and rate regulation is a form of common carrier treatment," Judge Hurley wrote, rejecting arguments made by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D-NY). 

NY can’t force ISPs to offer $15 low-income broadband plans, judge rules