New York's Attorney General Is Going After Deceptive ISPs

New Yorkers may soon get to bring shady internet providers to justice.

Wikimedia Commons

It’s safe to say that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is not spared from the endless woes of slow internet despite high prices and idyllic promises. He’s inviting New Yorkers to stick it to the man — “the man,” in this case, being shady internet providers — by testing their internet speeds. And if this test yields the right evidence, other states are bound to reproduce it.

“New Yorkers should get the internet speeds they pay for,” Schneiderman said on Monday.

And he’s right. It’s a nationwide crisis: You pay for a greyhound and you get a chihuahua in return. You pay for high-speed internet and you get…well, not glorified dial-up, exactly, but good luck streaming Netflix and checking your email at the same time. This is to say nothing of flaky internet that drops your signal.

In New York state, the cost of internet is particularly high compared to major cities in the rest of the world: “Internet users in New York can be charged up to 10 times more for the same high-speed internet as residents of Hong Kong, Paris, and Tokyo.”

Schneiderman, paraphrased: "WTF, ISPs?"

Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York (Flickr)

Schneiderman’s been on this bandwagon for a few months, now. It’s good to see a politician following up on old promises and standing up for the common man — even if those promises are limited to internet speeds.

If you live in New York, Schneiderman invites you to run the test at InternetHealthTest.org. It takes just a few short minutes and will output the actual quality of your connection. After the test, grab a screenshot of the results and submit it to the Attorney General’s office. (For full instructions, look here).

With enough data, Schneiderman and his righteous, vindictive team will prove what many of us have known all along: We’re all getting screwed by our ISPs.

“Too many of us may be paying for one thing, and getting another,” Schneiderman said Monday.

Now, after you take the test, but before you take to the streets (or Twitter) in protest, remember that slow internet speeds can be a result of more than just money-grubbing ISPs. Many other factors can impact your internet’s performance, such as the quality of your modem, cables, or wireless router.

And if this trial goes well, more states are apt to follow suit. I’m in favor of that trend, as up here in Vermont my test resulted in an average speed of 15.9 Mbps. Comcast’s promise, our pact? 150 Mbps. There’s no way that bad cable lines and modems can explain a ten-fold difference.

Related Tags