A law requiring free internet to every apartment in New York City may actually be coming!
Council member Ben Kallos proposed a new bill that would require landlords with ten or more units to give tenants free internet. “Such dwellings would be subject to additional technical requirements,” the bill reads, “including the installation of Ethernet ports and wiring to facilitate internet access. Violations would be punished under the Housing Maintenance Code.”
As reported by Patch, Kallos wants the bill to pass in order to help underprivileged New Yorkers.. There are currently 500,000 residents who don't have Internet access. Kallos believe the service is a utility like electricity, heat and hot water. Landlords that can't afford it can apply for aid.
Shaun Pappas, attorney specializing in the representation of developers, lenders and investors, believes this new proposal will likely pass. “The city thinks that internet is an essential service for everyone, and it’s in their interest to serve underprivileged residents and give them whatever they need to live their basic lives,” he said. “Internet is definitely part of that. They’ll probably provide a basic plan, but you’ll have to pay to upgrade to a higher speed,” he says.
Tara King-Brown, a real estate broker with the Corcoran Group, says if the bill doesn't get passed, landlords who do offer the service will attract more residents. “They will attract more buyers and renters and can build its cost into the monthly rental or maintenance fees,” she says. “Internet today goes beyond being an amenity. It’s the great equalizer that every New Yorker needs and deserves.”