With roughly 500,000 New Yorkers still without internet, a new bill hopes to change things
New York City — Could you imagine moving into a comfy new apartment, only to hear seconds later the super mumbling: "Sorry but no comfy, warm showers until you purchase hot water."
What about hearing: "Sorry but no comfy, logging online until you purchase internet."
In today's age, as many as 55 million people around the country belong to the gig economy. And when considering New Yorkers use the internet more often than using restrooms for warm showers, no wonder Councilmember Ben Kallos proposed a new bill — requiring landlords to provide tenants with internet connection.
As Kallos points out, in today's age: internet service isn't merely a luxury . . . it's a necessity. "Violations would be punished under the Housing Maintenance Code,” Kallos says.
The proposed bill hopes to help the underprivileged. After all, roughly half a million New Yorkers lack basic internet access. And life without internet puts residents at considerable risk — risk that ranges from losing food benefits to reservations for COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
Well over a year ago, Mayor de Blasio hinted at the need for mandating internet access across the city.
Kallos notes that broadband internet, no different from electricity or hot water, is to be treated as a utility for apartments.
Supporters of the new bill say the pandemic highlighted the importance of citywide internet access. According to a recent CDC study, as Zoom meetings and remote learning became part of daily life for most New Yorkers, those without internet access found themselves left behind.
In short, Kallos hopes his new bill ensures New Yorkers will have access to basic amenities such as electricity and hot water . . . and internet.
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