AARP said in a press release today targeting New York's elderly population that "Internet fast lanes" for a fee being considered by the Federal Communications Commission would leave "older New Yorkers in the dust online."
More than one million Americans left comments for the FCC on a proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that would allow service providers to charge content providers a reasonable fee for better access to its customers.
A recent survey by the group that represents the interests of the elderly and the retired in the state found that 96 percent of adult New Yorkers access the Internet, with 70 percent using the web or email several times a day. Forty-six percent spend one to three hours online on a daily basis, while 21 percent spend three to six hours online daily, and 13 percent spend six to 10 hours online every day.
AARP says that what adult New Yorkers do online is the exact type of activity that will be impacted by the "fast lanes" and by changes to net neutrality; 63 percent of New York adults said they watch videos online, while 67 percent visit social media sites, and 45 percent download music files.
"Access to the Internet should be equal and fair for all New Yorkers," said Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York. "Allowing the creation of "fast lanes" for companies that pay more and "slow lanes" for everyone else could lead to higher prices and fewer choices in online content as the companies pass along the premiums to consumers."
The AARP is calling for e reclassification of broadband service from a Title I service under the Communications Act to a Title II telecommunications service
You can read the AARP's filing with the FCC here (PDF).