by Nick Rose
The State of New York is about to approve a business merger between Time Warner Cable and Charter Cable with conditions being set that would bring benefit to northern New York.
The merger conditions have been put in place by the State Public Service Commission, which is requiring that Time Warner commit to the following:
• Provide an affordable internet package to low-income households. It is anticipated that this will be around $15 a month at 30mb;
• Increase download speeds across the state to 100mb where feasible;
• Establish 50 free community wi-fi locations for underserved areas, most likely in urban or village centers where there are lower internet connection rates; and
• Provide the expansion of broadband services to at least 145,000 homes or businesses that have not previously been able to receive broadband services.
Under this agreement, Time Warner will not be allowed to charge extension fees for bringing this service to new locations.
The intent of this agreement is to significantly reduce and impact the digital divide between broadband haves and have-nots.
We are indeed in a digital age and not having digital speeds impacts the success of children as well as the ability of business to expand and succeed.
If your home or business is currently located outside of broadband availability and you would like to make an argument that your business should be one of the 145,000, please write, call, or contact Ana Rua, Director of Outreach, Innovation and Broadband, Empire State Development, 633 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017; or www.esd.ny.gov; or (212) 803-3544.