Free internet for NYC apartments is doable for landlords


Nenad Stojkovic | Flickr

Barbara Chang

Councilmember Ben Kallos submitted a new bill mandating all residential buildings in New York provide free internet in their apartments. The bill states that new construction projects and finished buildings with at least 10 units should include ethernet ports for internet setup.

This requirement helps underprivileged families who are stuck in unfortunate financial situations, since most New York public housing buildings usually have more than 10 units. Therefore, this new bill is perfect for families who can’t afford an internet connection.

“I can’t make the internet a utility, only the FCC can, but I can make it required in everyone’s apartment just like heat, electricity, hot water and phone service,” Kallos said according to Patch.

The Internet is a necessity for every household, just like utilities and phone lines, which makes Kallos’ bill one of the most considerate adjustments for New Yorkers.

The proposal is nonpartisan, beneficial and feasible for landlords and owners of buildings.

Kallos said building owners who don’t have enough money to offer free internet to their apartments can register for financial aid if they meet the qualifications. Also, landlords can buy internet services in large proportions for no more than $15 for each apartment.

Real estate broker Tara King-Brown from Corcoran Group, said that landlords “…will attract more buyers and renters and can build its cost into the monthly rental or maintenance fees,” according to Architectural Digest.

Internet access is one of the key components apartment hunters require from an apartment they are renting or buying. It is a service that people can’t live without. Therefore, making the internet complimentary will lure more consumers to apartment units.

Having free internet at home will help tenants gain awareness of what is going on in the world and utilize  online resources in the communities they live in.

Kallos referenced a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that showed the size of the population who took COVID-19 vaccines is “significantly associated with household internet access in New York City,” according to The Real Deal.

Those individuals had internet, so they were more well-informed, which in turn saved their lives from COVID-19.

“Every New York City apartment comes with heat, hot water, electricity, and a phone line. It’s time to add internet, so it is there and just works when a tenant moves in,” Kallos said to The Real Deal.

The new bill will make life easier for New Yorkers by satisfying their convenience needs.

Although the pandemic seems like it’s dying down, some students are still learning from online classes, which means that they depend on a stable internet connection. This bill will guarantee student tenants receive internet service without breaking the bank..

New Yorkers without the advantage of getting internet at home have limited and more conventional resources in the city that are available to all.

Based on the New York Public Library website, people who have NYPL library cards can reserve on-site computers at each branch. The limit for computer usage on reserved computers at NYPL is 45 minutes, and some branches offer computers that only allow members to use them for 15 minutes at a time.

There are also link kiosks located at almost every street corner in Manhattan. According to Link Kiosks website, the kiosks offer speedy and free Wi-Fi for everyone, other amenities such as calls, charging and a guide to directions.