Chapter 25C of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 9. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-
“Internet service provider”, a person who provides internet access to customers in the commonwealth.
“Qualifying senior”, a person residing in the commonwealth who is age 65 or older and who has a gross annual household income less than or equal to 200 per cent of the federal poverty level.
(b) Notwithstanding section 6A, section 8 or any other general or special law to the contrary, internet service providers shall offer and provide broadband internet access to qualifying seniors in the commonwealth at a discounted and affordable rate but not higher than the lowest discounted rate the internet service provider otherwise offers. The internet service provider may require a person seeking a discounted and affordable rate under this section to provide proof that he or she is a qualifying senior.
(c) An internet service provider may offer and provide broadband internet access pursuant to subsection (b) through any technology, including, but not limited to, digital subscriber line, cable modem, wireless, satellite or fiber optics; provided, however, that the bandwidth shall not be less than 10 Mbps.
(d) The department shall conduct outreach to make residents of the commonwealth aware that internet service providers are required to provide certain qualifying seniors with a discounted and affordable rate for internet access pursuant to this section.
(e) The department may promulgate rules or regulations as are necessary to carry out this section.
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