This morning, Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn announced new initiatives aimed at expanding NY’s broadband connectivity. According to the mayor, the this expansion is to ensure that NY “firmly establishes a lead position in connectivity and technology for the 21st century.”
The initiatives were developed with the NYCEDC and the Department of Information Technology and Communications and are divided into three parts:
- “Last Mile”- Broadband exists under streets and avenues but is not easily accessible to businesses in buildings
- ”Digital Deserts”- Certain industrial and manufacturing neighborhoods have very limited access to broadband infrastructure
- “Digital Divide”- Low-income neighborhoods have low adoption rates for broadband connectivity.
To address these issues, over the next six months the city will implement:
- Connect NYC: A competition to increase the amount of fiber wiring for commercial and industrial buildings;
- WiredNYC: A program to evaluate broadband infrastructure in buildings
- NYC Broadband Connect Map: A crowd-sourced site with a map of wired buildings around the city
- Broadband Express: Addressing and simplifying operational issues in issuing broadband permits
- CitizenConnect: A mobile app development competition to create apps that helps residents access NY city and community services.
“The growing technology industry is diversifying the City’s economy and creating the jobs of the future,” said Bloomberg in a statement. “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.”
Additionally, Capital reported that Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert Steel told an ANBY breakfast the city would create more Academies for Software Engineering in the city, expanding on a new Fred Wilson-backed high school to open in this fall. .