Features, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, New York

Internet Master Plan for NYC

January 8, 2020

By Stephanie West

New York, NY – New York City has announced its NYC Internet Master Plan. Its goal is to ensure affordable, high-speed, reliable broadband service across all five boroughs with the private sector working closely with the Big Apple.

“Every New Yorker deserves easy, affordable access to the internet,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With the Internet Master Plan, we are giving notice to corporations that the days of creating a digital divide in our city are over. Providing equitable broadband service to all New Yorkers regardless of where they live or how much they make is vital to ensuring everyone has the basic tools they need to succeed.”

Within this plan, NYC will work with service providers optimizing City real estate including rooftops and light poles. Fiber optic lines will connect to City assets. The City will initiate the plan by issuing a Universal Solicitation for Broadband (USB) to steer the relationship between the City and the private sector toward universal service with a focus on covering areas of NYC that currently lack connectivity. 

“All New Yorkers should have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet, regardless of their zip code or the size of their paycheck,” said Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin. “We will work closely with our partners in the private sector as we endeavor to end the digital divide in New York City and ensure internet access for all.”

Current broadband subscription costs can be a burden on the budgets of low-income families. For example, 46% of New York City households living in poverty do not have broadband in the home. The Bronx has the highest percentage of residents without home broadband at almost 38%. Getting all New Yorkers connected and establishing equitable infrastructure citywide should result in up to 165,000 new jobs, a $49 billion increase in personal income, and $142 billion in incremental Gross City Product in 2045. 

“The brightness of our City’s future in part depends on how quickly New Yorkers can upload and download data from the internet,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “We are in a race against the rest of the modern world and to ensure we have the brightest future possible and that our residents are meeting their full potential we must close the digital divide and work to bring every New Yorker up to the speed of the modern world.”

January 8, 2020

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