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This entry was published on 2021-11-19
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SECTION 399-ZZZZZ*2
Prohibition of certain broadband terminations or disconnections
General Business (GBS) CHAPTER 20, ARTICLE 26
* § 399-zzzzz. Prohibition of certain broadband terminations or
disconnections. 1. For the purposes of this section, the term "broadband
service" shall mean a mass-market retail service that provides the
capability to transmit data to and receive data from all or
substantially all internet endpoints, including any capabilities that
are incidental to and enable the operation of the communications
service, and shall include service provided by commercial mobile
telephone service providers, but shall not include dial-up service.

2. No person, business, corporation, or their agents providing or
seeking to provide broadband service in New York state shall terminate
or disconnect services provided over their infrastructure to a
residential service customer or a small business customer with
twenty-five or fewer employees that is not a (i) publicly held company,
or a subsidiary thereof, (ii) seasonal, short-term, or temporary
customer, or (iii) customer that the broadband service provider can
demonstrate has the resources to pay the bill, provided that the
broadband service provider notifies the small business customer of its
reasons and of the customer's right to contest this determination
through the commission's complaint procedures, for the non-payment of an
overdue charge for the duration of the state disaster emergency declared
pursuant to executive order two hundred two of two thousand twenty
(hereinafter "the COVID-19 state of emergency"). Such persons or
entities shall have a duty to restore service, to the extent not already
required, at the request of any residential or small business customer
within forty-eight hours if such service has been terminated during the
pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency and disconnection of such
service was due to non-payment of an overdue charge, provided, however,
that such persons or entities shall not be required to restore service
to any residential or small business customer if such service had been
terminated prior to the effective date of this section.

3. For a period of one hundred eighty days after either the COVID-19
state of emergency is lifted or expires or December thirty-first, two
thousand twenty-one, whichever is earlier, no person, business,
corporation, or their agents providing or seeking to provide broadband
service in New York state shall terminate or disconnect services
provided over their infrastructure to a residential or small business
customer account because of defaulted deferred payment agreements or
arrears then owed to such persons or entities when such customer has
experienced a change in financial circumstances, as defined by the
department of public service due to the COVID-19 state of emergency. The
person, business, corporation, or their agents providing or seeking to
provide broadband service in New York state shall provide such
residential or small business customer with the right to enter into, or
restructure, a deferred payment agreement consistent with the provisions
of article two of the public service law without the requirement of a
down payment, late fees, or penalties, with such prohibition on down
payments, late fees, or penalties applicable to all arrears incurred
during the pendency of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

4. Every person, business, corporation, or their agents providing or
seeking to provide broadband service in New York state shall provide
notice to residential or small business customers in a writing to be
included with a bill statement or, when appropriate, via electronic
transmission of the provisions of this section and shall further make
reasonable efforts to contact customers who have demonstrated a change
in financial circumstances due to the COVID-19 state of emergency for
the purpose of offering such customers a deferred payment agreement
consistent with the provisions of article two of the public service law.

5. Implementation of the provisions of this section shall not prohibit
a person, business, corporation, or their agents providing or seeking to
provide broadband service in New York state from recovering lost or
deferred revenues after either the lifting or expiration of the COVID-19
state of emergency or December thirty-first, two thousand twenty-one,
whichever is earlier, pursuant to such means for recovery by means not
inconsistent with any of the provisions of this section. Nothing in this
section shall prohibit a person, business, corporation, or their agents
providing or seeking to provide broadband service in New York state from
disconnecting service at the request of a customer. Nothing in this
section shall prohibit a person, business, corporation, or their agents
providing or seeking to provide broadband service in New York state from
disconnecting service when it is necessary to protect the health and
safety of customers and the public.

6. Whenever there shall be a violation of this section, an application
may be made by the attorney general in the name of the people of the
state of New York to a court or justice having jurisdiction by a special
proceeding to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of
not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such
violation; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or
justice that the defendant has, in fact, violated this section, an
injunction may be issued by the court or justice, enjoining and
restraining any further violations, without requiring proof that any
person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby. In any such
proceeding, the court may make allowances to the attorney general as
provided in paragraph six of subdivision (a) of section eighty-three
hundred three of the civil practice law and rules, and direct
restitution. Whenever the court shall determine that a violation of this
section has occurred, the court may impose a civil penalty of not more
than one thousand dollars per violation. In connection with any such
proposed application, the attorney general is authorized to take proof
and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in
accordance with the civil practice law and rules.

* NB There are 3 § 399-zzzzz's

* NB Repealed July 1, 2022