NYCEDC's blog

Expanding NYC’s Broadband Connectivity



Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Quinn yesterday 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 NYCEDC 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.

“Broadband is the infrastructure of the modern age, and a basic necessity not just for tech businesses, but for every business. These initiatives will harness market dynamics and create increased transparency to incentivize the private sector to expand New York’s broadband infrastructure.” -- NYC Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert Steel

The initiatives that will be implemented over the course of the next several months include:

  • ConnectNYC: a competition to build out fiber connectivity for commercial and industrial buildings across the five boroughs. Through ConnectNYC, the City will assist small and medium-sized businesses, including industrial businesses, in unwired or underwired buildings to apply for free fast-track wiring. The City is currently in advanced discussions with Time Warner Cable about partnering on this exciting program, which could help achieve the goal of wiring several hundred additional buildings in the City for high-speed internet.
  • WiredNYC: a building certification program that will evaluate the broadband infrastructure of New York City buildings to encourage and accelerate deployment of leading broadband technologies. This program will create transparency about broadband infrastructure in the commercial real estate market, giving businesses information about a building’s connectivity when choosing where to locate, and allowing landlords to market their buildings’ assets and compete for tenants.
  • NYC Broadband Connect Map: a crowd-sourced, dynamic website in which businesses can learn about connectivity availability and capabilities in a given building or neighborhood. This new resource for businesses will be launched by the end of 2012 by NYCEDC.
  • Broadband Express: the City will begin a process of simplifying operational issues as well as regulatory hurdles for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The City will immediately identify a City point-person for ISP street operations permitting as well as other related issues. This position will help ensure that businesses get the service they need when they need it, and the City will soon begin to commit to processing all standard broadband-related street operations permits within two business days, on average, and gather data in order to be held accountable.
  • CitizenConnect: a competition to develop mobile applications that will help City residents access workforce development opportunities, jobs listings and worker support programs such as childcare, healthcare and transportation.

Find out more about these exciting initiatives to expand NYC’s broadband connectivity. In addition, read all about the launch of the City's Business Customer Service Initiative to make it easier for businesses to create jobs, as announced by Deputy Mayor Steel.



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