Dear Reimagine NY: Governor Cuomo’s Broadband Plan Is Broken. Let’s Fix It.

  • Internet providers would be required to offer affordable service at $15 per month to low-income households. The affordability requirements are part of the Governor’s nation-leading 2021 connectivity agenda.
  • Includes a series of actions to protect consumers through better. disclosures, promote broadband build-out and market competition, and undertake new digital inclusion efforts.
  • The Census claims that there are 7.3 million households in NY State.
  • Using the 2 million statistic, this means that only 73% of households have available service;
  • Using the Microsoft analysis, we find that only 54.6% have a service available — only 4 million households are covered– i.e., 3.3 million are without service, and there are many areas with coverage being only 25%-40%.
  • Wireless prices for 4G and 5G services overseas comes to $30–40 dollars with “truly unlimited” GB meaning, 1000 GB or more.
  • In the US, our carriers have decided to change the actual definition of the word “unlimited” to mean — we can say what we want — 5–50GB is ‘unlimited’.

Verizon New York is the Telecommunications State-Based Public Utility for New York State and New York City.

  • This is the Verizon NY 2019 Annual Report which was released to the public on June 8th, 2020 as part of it’s requirement as the NY State’s largest public telecommunications utility.
  • Starting in 2004, Verizon announced FiOS, a ‘fiber to the ‘premises’, FTTP, “Title II”, common carrier network, (which contradicted Verizon’s FCC, Net Neutrality arguments that Title II is harmful.).
  • State laws were changed (price caps) so that Verizon could charge local phone customers rate increases and/or keep profits from services like Call Waiting or nonpublished numbers.
  • In 2010, Verizon announced it was stopping FiOS and it appears it began to move the utility construction budgets to wireless — leaving most cities and lower income areas, undone including NYC — creating the Digital Divide.

Click for Verizon New York 2019 Walkthrough — and Pop Quiz

  • “Local Service” is the basic, wireline, voice-only, copper-wired based business.
  • “Nonregulated” is FiOS video, VoIP, inside wire maintenance and formerly regulated services.
  • “Backhaul” is also “BDS” and it has the largest revenue as it goes to cell sites, used by competitors as well as business services, like ATM machines.
  • We estimate that Verizon NY Local Service was overcharged an estimated $1.1-$1.6 billion, in just 2019, in just NY, including NYC. (This is the low number.)
  • Line 3: Local Service was charged $1.2 billion in “Construction & Maintenance” and has historically actually spent only $75–$125 million.
  • Line 4: Local Service was charged $205 million, 54% of the total, for “Marketing”. When was the last time you saw an advertisement or video commercial for basic copper based phone service?
  • Line 5: Local Service was charged over $1/2 billion in “Corporate Operations” expense, 61% of the total Verizon assigned to NYS. (In 2017, Local Service was charged $1.8 billion, 61% of the total for this line item.)
  • Line 6: Verizon New York has shown losses of over $2 billion for most years over the last decade, almost all created by “Local Service.
  • Will Reimagine fight to finally fix what is broken as we have just laid out — and work with the Governor to deal with the hard issues?
  • Can New Yorkers count on Reimagine to share ideas and to propose new solutions or will we still be sitting here wondering what happened 5 years from now?



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Bruce Kushnick

Bruce Kushnick


New Networks Institute,Executive Director, & Founding Member, IRREGULATORS; Telecom analyst for 40 years, and I have been playing the piano for 65 years.