Legislators call plan “ill-timed and insensitive”
Trenton – Senator Troy Singleton, Assemblyman Herb Conaway MD and Assemblywoman Carol Murphy today sent a joint letter to Comcast urging the utility to reconsider its plans to implement a 1.2TB data cap in our region. The text of the letter is below:
Mr. Kevin Casey
President, Northeast Division
Dear Mr. Casey,
We are writing to you today to respectfully request that Comcast immediately reconsider its plans to impose a 1.2TB data cap in our region. As the State Legislators representing the 7th Legislative District, we share our constituents’ concerns about the timing and financial impact of this decision.
It is no secret that the public health emergency has taken a heavy toll on our families and our economy. Many workers are unemployed, and others have been forced to work less hours, leaving them in dire financial straits. Those still employed are often working remotely, while many children are attending class online. With so many working, learning, playing, and socializing virtually, there is an indisputable, increased reliance on internet connectivity and data. Internet connectivity is no longer a luxury; it is as essential as every other household utility.
While we fully understand that Comcast will not limit anyone’s data usage, charging people for usage over the 1.2TB limit is an unnecessary burden during already challenging times. Undoubtedly, this will result in higher Comcast bills and more broadly, a widening of the digital divide. Further, we have been informed by Comcast that this 1.2TB data cap will only affect 5% of customers. This is contrary to the many anecdotes we are hearing from our constituents who are receiving notice that they are already at or near the 1.2TB limit.
Comcast has been a gracious corporate and community partner through its internet essentials program for low-income customers, and in its responsiveness to the needs of the schools here in our district. However, all of that goodwill will be quickly overshadowed by this ill-timed and insensitive decision. It is our collective hope that Comcast would give serious consideration to abandoning this plan altogether, or at the very least, postponing it until the end of this pandemic. Thank you in advance for your immediate attention to this matter. We await your response.
Sen. Troy Singleton Asm. Herb Conaway, MD Asw. Carol Murphy