Councilor Lederman Opposes Comcast/Xfinity Internet Data Cap

At-Large Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman is urging the city’s primary internet provider, Comcast/Xfinity, to re-consider their impending data cap in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and says the City of Springfield should evaluate internet access and affordability across the city in the coming year.

“The internet has become an essential utility for individuals, families, and businesses,” said Councilor Lederman, “Residents should not be nickel and dimed in the wake of a global health pandemic as they attempt to access education, conduct commerce, and participate in government.”

Councilor Lederman sent a letter to the President of Comcast’s Northeast Division on Thursday following an announcement that Massachusetts residents will become subject to a monthly data-cap in 2021 and face overage charges if they exceed it unless they enroll in an unlimited plan.

“Public reports indicate that bandwidth has not been challenged even at the height of the pandemic, though many families are feeling the pinch economically,” said Councilor Lederman in his letter, “An increased internet bill when many families are facing fixed needs with regard to internet access adds up.”

With social distancing expected to be necessary into next year, Lederman believes that residents will continue to access the internet in greater numbers and for longer durations.

Councilor Lederman says he has received inquires from constituents even prior to the pandemic with concerns regarding the rising cost of internet access and the lack of options.

“I will be speaking with colleagues in government, residents, and industry experts in the coming year regarding how we can explore improving access to and affordability of internet service as we head towards the end of our existing exclusivity agreement,” said Councilor Lederman.

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