|Brindisi Bill Would Require Cable And Internet Companies Fined By A Public Service Commission To Report To FCC
Broadband Internet Key To Vibrant Communities, Booming Economy; Brindisi Makes Improving Rural Broadband A Top Priority
|Continuing his work to hold Charter/Spectrum accountable, Congressman Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) today held a roundtable in Binghamton to hear from NY-22 residents about challenges they have experienced with their cable and internet providers. Brindisi recently introduced a bill, the Transparency for Cable Consumers Act, to improve transparency and hold cable and internet companies accountable.
The Transparency for Cable Consumers Act will require companies fined by a state Public Service Commission to file an annual report with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), providing details on what they charge consumers, what broadband internet speeds they provide, and other information. Brindisi has heard from thousands of constituents unhappy about frequent rate hikes and poor customer service.
“We’ve heard from small business owners, seniors, farmers, and families frustrated with the service they receive from their cable and internet providers. Crawling internet speeds can take away people’s connection to jobs, health care, information, and important online services. It’s not just an inconvenience; it hurts our way of life,” said Congressman Brindisi.
“My cable bill recently went up a lot, and I am extremely frustrated with my cable provider, Spectrum. I have trouble understanding how telecommunications companies are able to regularly raise rates on their customers with no advance warning. I’ve reached out to Congressman Brindisi’s office on this issue and am glad he is taking action to make them more accountable,” said Laura Lutz of Binghamton.
In New York State, Charter Communications was fined $2 million after the company failed to meet its obligation to expand broadband by its required deadline. Broadband internet is crucial to economic development and vibrant communities, connecting families, farmers, students, and small business owners to jobs, health care, information, and essential online services. 80% of Americans without high-speed broadband live in rural communities.
In January, Brindisi demanded the FCC outline its plans to hold Charter/Spectrum accountable and the steps it will take to ensure Upstate New Yorkers finally have access to affordable high-speed broadband. In response to his letter, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wrote that the FCC may impose additional sanctions and conditions should the FCC find that Charter is failing to meet its obligations to expand broadband access.
Congressman Brindisi is also a co-sponsor of the ACCESS BROADBAND Act (H.R. 1328), bipartisan legislation to improve the federal government’s management of broadband resources. The bill would establish a dedicated government office to track the federal dollars given to cable companies, expand broadband access, and streamline the application process for local governments seeking funding for broadband expansion.