Sen. Chuck Schumer called on the Federal Communications Commission on Sunday to examine internet service providers because slow speeds cripple more than 4.3 million people across New York City.
Schumer cited a report released by Microsoft at the end of 2018, which found that 162.8 million Americans either do not have access to internet service of at least 25 megabits per second or to service at the speed advertised. By comparison, the FCC estimated 24.7 million Americans rely on internet that is slower than 25 megabits per second, which the Senate minority leader said raised questions about the way the agency reports on broadband coverage and providers’ advertising practices.
According to Microsoft, 4.3 million people in the city and another 436,000 in Nassau and Suffolk counties lack access to internet service of at least 25 megabits per second or to service at the speed advertised.
"The FCC needs to account for the massive disparity in reported speeds and the real frustration of many New Yorkers, who are at a net loss all around when their internet service is slow, possibly paying for speeds that are not as advertised and losing out on their own productivity," Schumer said.
The senator noted that the FCC does not verify the self-reported speeds it receives from providers. The FCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Schumer contended that internet service providers have the ability to improve their delivery, but are delaying doing so because it is costly.
"It’s just a lot easier for providers to not upgrade," Schumer said.