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NYCEDC Launches Second Round of ConnectNYC to Construct Free Fiber Cable Wiring For Businesses Across New York City


Part of City's Larger Set of Initiatives to Expand Broadband Connectivity and Increase High-Speed Internet Access for Industrial and Commercial Businesses 
Program Will Provide Services to Small or Medium-Sized Companies

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the launch of the second round of ConnectNYC Fiber Access, an innovative, City-sponsored program providing free construction and installation of fiber optic cable directly to businesses. The program is designed to assist small or medium-sized businesses in unwired or underwired buildings by providing an opportunity to connect the building to fiber infrastructure. It addresses challenges facing fiber optic expansion by expediting build-out and efficiently bringing together commercial and industrial business demand for fiber broadband connectivity. ConnectNYC Fiber Access is part of the suite of initiatives originally announced by the City in 2012 to ensure New York City continues to establish itself as a leader in connectivity and innovation in the 21st Century. Companies can apply to receive the free construction at http://nycfiberaccess.challengepost.com/.

“New York City is a center for technology and innovation, and in order to maintain and grow this position, we must continue to improve our digital infrastructure,” said NYCEDC Executive Director Kyle Kimball.  “Broadband is a vital piece of our efforts to become better connected, and ConnectNYC ensures that we expand our broadband to meet the needs of businesses now and for years to come.”

Applications for ConnectNYC Fiber Access will be evaluated based on the potential impact of fiber on the applicant’s business and feasibility of fiber construction at the building’s location. Companies based in New York City with fewer than 500 employees are eligible to apply.  Approved applicants that successfully negotiate a one-year service contract with one of five participating Internet Service Providers (ISPs), including Time Warner Cable Business Class and Cablevision, will receive free construction and installation, a cost that can be prohibitive to new businesses looking to install fiber cable. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through December 12, 2013.

“The renewal franchises the City granted to Time Warner Cable and Cablevision in 2011 included the commitment of those companies to deploy fiber optic technology to un-served and underserved commercial locations,” said New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications Chief Information and Innovation Officer Rahul N. Merchant. “Now in its second round, ConnectNYC continues that investment in our digital future – and furthers the Bloomberg Administration’s goal of expanding state-of-the-art communications infrastructure to new and growing businesses citywide.”

“We applaud Mayor Bloomberg and his Administration for their leadership in creating ConnectNYC, and are pleased to commit $12 million to this important economic development initiative, said Ken Fitzpatrick, President of Time Warner Cable Business Class, East Region.  “Our fiber network provides businesses with high bandwidth capabilities and superior Internet speeds that can reach 10 Gbps. Today’s businesses need this fiber access to compete in a global marketplace and we look forward to helping New York City build the technology infrastructure needed to attract business investments and jobs.”

“Cablevision is proud to again team up with Mayor Bloomberg’s office on this exciting initiative to further enhance New York City’s vibrant business community,” said Gemma Toner, Senior Vice President, Broadband Product Management, Cablevision. “Because we serve thousands of local businesses with our Optimum broadband services, we understand just how important it is for companies to have access to reliable, high-speed Internet connectivity. We look forward to this new opportunity to provide our expertise and services as a partner in the ConnectNYC program.”  

The second iteration of ConnectNYC Fiber Access incorporates three additional ISPs – Lightower, tw telecom and Stealth Communications – which will join Time Warner Cable Business Class and Cablevision to provide program participants with additional options in selecting a fiber provider.  Upon completion of installation for the second round of programming, up to $14 million worth of fiber wiring will have been provided in total by the five participating ISPs.

“Lightower is excited to be participating in ConnectNYC and to be making this significant investment in New York City,” stated Rob Shanahan, CEO of Lightower. “Lightower has extensive experience providing fiber networking solutions to New York City businesses, and this program is a great way to introduce these types of high-performance services to new businesses.  Connect NYC will also allow local businesses to take advantage of Lightower’s extensive network throughout the country.”

“We are delighted with Mayor Bloomberg’s commitment to encourage installation of fiber infrastructure that delivers advanced technological capabilities to move businesses forward,” said Robert Bianco, Vice President and General Manager of tw telecom.  “Our commitment to Business Ethernet is unprecedented within the industry.  We have delivered Ethernet nationally to enterprises for more than a decade and are consistently one of the leading providers across the country.”

"ConnectNYC is a great program for businesses in the city, who wish to drive economic growth through the use of technology. Being one of New York City's oldest ISPs, and now its newest fiber franchisee, we are bringing the fastest Internet experience for the Big Apple by utilizing the latest in photonic technology,” said Shrihari Pandit, President & CEO, Stealth Communications.

ConnectNYC Fiber Access is being led by NYCEDC in partnership with ChallengePost, a New York City startup that enables competitive public problem-solving. The goal of the competition is to capitalize on New York City’s existing advantages in connectivity and innovation, while also addressing long-term challenges facing the City.

The first round of ConnectNYC connected 24 companies with high-speed Internet through Time Warner Cable Business Class and Cablevision, with several more companies currently in negotiations.  3rd Ward, a business incubator that offers a series of educational classes located in the North Brooklyn Industrial Business Zone, is one of the companies to receive a free fiber build-out.  Their multi-disciplinary creative classes and co-working space, which houses hundreds of small businesses, ensure that local manufacturers have the tools they need in order to succeed.  Through the ConnectNYC program, 3rd Ward signed a contract with Time Warner Cable Business Class, which increased their Internet speed by 500%.

The full list of businesses participating in the first round of ConnectNYC can be found on the first round’s website: http://nycfiberchallenge.challengepost.com/submissions.

About NYCEDC

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.

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