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Designed to Address Specific Challenge Areas the City Faces to Ensure NYC is a Global Leader in Connectivity and Technology in the 21st Century
Hundreds of Buildings Wired and Certified Over Next 2 Years, Tens of Thousands of Permits Issued More Efficiently
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn today announced a suite of new initiatives to expand New York City’s broadband connectivity and ensure that the City further establishes its leadership position in connectivity and technology for the 21st century. Designed to capitalize on the growth currently taking place within the City’s technology sector by addressing critical ongoing challenges, the initiatives include a competition to build out fiber wiring for commercial and industrial buildings, a grading program for connectivity in New York City buildings, a crowd-sourced digital map highlighting wired buildings citywide, a streamlined process for broadband-related permitting as well as exploring the streamlining of regulatory issues, and a competition to develop mobile applications to help residents access critical services provided by the City and community-based organizations. Collectively, these initiatives, which were developed in partnership with the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, are expected to lead to hundreds of buildings being wired for state-of-the-art connectivity in the next two years, tens of thousands of permits issued through more efficient and streamlined processes, thousands of buildings being certified and placed on the City’s digital map, and a significant increase in online resources for thousands of residents of the five boroughs. The announcement was made by Deputy Mayor Steel this morning in a forum sponsored by the Association for a Better New York.
“The growing technology industry is diversifying the City’s economy and creating the jobs of the future,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “To support those jobs, we need to help the industry get the resources it needs – whether that means more qualified engineers or broadband connections. But encouraging investment in broadband will help more than just the tech sector – it will make sure more businesses and more New Yorkers can get connected.”
“These five initiatives we're announcing today to improve access to high-speed broadband come at a time when our city’s businesses and residents depend on the internet more now than ever before,” said Speaker Quinn. “By removing impediments to business operation, such as the lack of access to broadband in commercial office buildings, we’ll ensure business owners can focus the bulk of their attention on running a successful business. I thank Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Steel for working with the City Council to address the needs of those most affected by these issues and taking even more concrete steps toward our goal of making New York City the tech capital of the world.”
“Broadband is the infrastructure of the modern age, and a basic necessity not just for tech businesses, but for every business,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “These initiatives will harness market dynamics and create increased transparency to incentivize the private sector to expand New York’s broadband infrastructure.”
“While New York City’s emergence as a global hub of technology and innovation is a promising sign for the future of our economy, certain challenges must be met in order for us to stay competitive,” said Seth W. Pinsky, President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “Through this innovative suite of initiatives, we will pilot programs to address critical challenges to our broadband infrastructure, expanding connectivity for both businesses and residents, increasing critical information that is available to the public, and streamlining operational processes for permitting. Thanks to the support of our dedicated public and private partners, these programs will help ensure that the City’s economy continues to grow and that we maintain our leadership position going forward.”
“DoITT helps lead the Administration’s digital inclusion efforts with a range of initiatives to foster both broadband build-out and adoption in underserved areas and communities citywide. This also includes making fiber connectivity available to every city household by the end of 2014,” said Citywide Chief Innovation and Information Officer Rahul N. Merchant. “Building upon those efforts with today’s suite of initiatives, we’re ensuring the promise of broadband technology as infrastructure vital to New York City’s residents, businesses, and entrepreneurs in the 21st century marketplace.”
“The greatest city in the world demands the best Internet connectivity in the world, and today Mayor Bloomberg has made an historic investment in New York City’s digital future that brings us a step closer to that goal,” said Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne. “These visionary initiatives led by Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Steel will connect New Yorkers, fuel innovation and propel the City’s thriving technology sector to even greater heights.”
Thanks to a number of groundbreaking initiatives, including Applied Sciences NYC which led to the selections of Cornell/Technion and an NYU-led consortium to build world-class centers of innovation in the City, New York has recently gained universally-recognized momentum in technology and innovation. However, despite these advantages, there remain challenges in this area that must be addressed in order to maintain this momentum and ensure a global leadership position for the future. These specific challenges fall into three separate categories, including:
These obstacles to the City’s long-term competitiveness led the Bloomberg Administration to convene a series of conversations with leading businesses and technology entrepreneurs throughout New York City – including members of the Mayor’s Council on Technology and Innovation – in order to determine the most critical issues as well as solutions that will ultimately allow both the City’s economy to prosper and to provide equal opportunities for all New Yorkers.
The initiatives that resulted from these conversations will be implemented over the course of the next several months, and include:
“I commend the Administration for the package of broadband initiatives being announced today,” said Council Member Gale A. Brewer, Chair, Committee on Governmental Operations, former Chair, Committee on Technology. “I have been advocating for improved broadband services in New York City for several years, including when I passed a Law to create a Broadband Advisory Committee that met in all five boroughs to discuss broadband access issues. Today’s announcement is a great step toward closing the digital divide in our city, and I look forward to working with the Administration and Speaker Quinn to develop new and innovative ways to improve our city's connectivity and tech economy.”
“Access to broadband connections, thick broadband, with real throughput is vital to both startups and established businesses,” said John Borthwick, CEO of betaworks. “Connectivity is the electricity of our era and our city should be a leader in "lighting up" both our neighborhoods and buildings. The Connect NYC and WiredNYC initiatives will offer much needed competition and transparency to New York.”
“As the recently released New Tech City report showed, expanding the City’s broadband connectivity is essential for attracting and retaining businesses from every sector in New York City,” said Bill Rudin, Chairman of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) and Vice-Chairman and CEO of Rudin Management. “The City's efforts to increase connectivity in conjunction with the new WiredNYC program will enhance and market New York’s tech accessibility, creating jobs, spurring capital investment, and making our city even more competitive in the global marketplace.”
“Broadband proliferation is essential for New York City to maintain its vibrancy and to continue to grow, and we are pleased to participate in the City’s efforts to increase access throughout the five boroughs.” said Jared Kushner, CEO of Kushner Companies. “Providing available information and creating a uniform standard to identify broadband access in NYC office buildings is a win for both tenant businesses and commercial real estate companies. We look forward to working together with our partners in this effort to ensure that hundreds of buildings are certified and catalogued over the next several years.”
“These initiatives are proof that the City of New York is committed to establishing itself as a leader in technology and innovation,” said Susan Crawford, former Special Assistant to the President for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy and current member of the Mayor’s Council on Technology and Innovation. “I have been honored to participate on the Mayor’s advisory council to help the City recognize the issues it faces with wired high-speed Internet access, and to work collaboratively with leaders in this field to help determine innovative solutions that will allow this sector to continue to grow and thrive in the future.”
“New Yorkers looking for jobs can currently access Workforce1 services by visiting a Workforce1 Center in all five boroughs, or by going online from home, school, a public library, or wherever is most convenient,” said Rob Walsh, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Working with EDC on a mobile app opens up new ways to better serve jobseekers, and connect more New Yorkers to Workforce1 by using the latest in technology.”
“The Department of Youth and Community Development is committed to bringing as many resources as possible to those New Yorkers most in need,” said DYCD Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav. “Our young people are remarkably tech savvy, and increasingly use mobile platforms to communicate and get information. We are delighted to join our City agency partners to continue to find innovative ways to connect our youth and families to services and new opportunities.”
“Mobile and other digital communications platforms have the potential to dramatically improve our ability to deliver social services in New York City,” said HRA Commissioner Robert Doar. “In a survey conducted by HRA of our clients, over 76 percent of those receiving cash assistance and food stamps, preferred text messages to get updates on available job opportunities. We are committed to this project and are excited to give New Yorkers in need information on the latest job opportunities as-they-happen.”
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.