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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Telecom powerhouses won a victory in New York on Friday when a federal court barred the state from enforcing a new affordable broadband program that would require them to provide $15 internet service.

Why it matters: The court order sends a signal to other states that they will face an uphill legal battle if they copy New York's first-in-the nation law.

Driving the news: A federal judge sided with telecom trade groups that sought a preliminary injunction to halt New York's broadband program for low-income households from taking effect June 15.

  • The judge noted the program could reduce annual net income by at least $1 million for some companies, as well as other arguments from the trade groups on their likelihood of success in the underlying litigation.
  • Trade associations USTelecom, CTIA, the New York State Telecommunications Association and other smaller groups sued in April, arguing New York doesn't have the authority to mandate broadband prices.

What they're saying: “The broadband industry is committed to working with state and federal policymakers on sustainable solutions that will serve the needs of all low-income Americans," the broadband association coalition said in a statement.

  • "While well-intended, the state’s law ignored the $50 monthly broadband discount Congress enacted, as well as the many commitments, programs and offerings that broadband providers have made for low-income consumers.”

The other side: "We always knew big telecom would pull out all the stops to protect their profits at the expense of the New Yorkers who need access to this vital utility the most," Rich Azzopardi, senior advisor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said in a statement. "We are going to continue to fight for them."​

Go deeper

Judge agrees to consider temporarily blocking Texas abortion ban

Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar via Getty Images

A federal judge will hold a hearing on Oct. 1 to consider temporarily blocking enforcement of Texas' restrictive abortion ban after an emergency request from the Biden administration.

Why it matters: The hearing comes after the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit last week against Texas over the new law, which bans nearly all abortions and awards at least $10,000 to anyone who successfully sues a person that helps a pregnant person access an abortion after six weeks.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. will give Russians written response to NATO demands, Blinken says

Blinken and Lavrov shake hands in Geneva. Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed after a meeting with his Russian counterpart on Friday that the U.S. will provide written answers to Russia's security demands next week.

Why it matters: Russia claims to be waiting for "concrete answers" to its demands that NATO rule out further expansion and roll back its presence in eastern Europe before deciding its next steps on Ukraine. But the U.S. and NATO have called those proposals "non-starters," and Friday's meeting offered no breakthroughs, so it's unclear how written answers might change the equation.

More surprises await scientists at Antarctica's "Doomsday Glacier"

Cliffs along the edge of the Thwaites Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. Photo: James Yungel/NASA

Researchers like David Holland, an atmospheric scientist at New York University, are in a race to understand the fate of a massive glacier in West Antarctica that has earned a disquieting nickname: "The Doomsday Glacier."

Why it matters: Studies show the Thwaites Glacier (its official name) could already be on an irreversible course to melt during the next several decades to centuries, freeing up enough inland ice to raise global sea levels by at least several feet.