On November 15th, the City of New York announced that it was looking for ideas to bring high-quality connectivity to every resident and business. Their goal is to get every one connected by 2025; they’re starting with a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit ideas for potential strategies and partnerships. Responses are due January 19th.
The Big Apple’s effort comes on the heels of San Francisco’s decision to invest in municipal broadband to connect the entire city. New York’s RFI states that they will use all their assets — from rooftop to, to poles, to organizational resources — to move their efforts along so New Yorkers can enjoy fast, affordable, reliable connectivity. City leaders want to exhaust all avenues and are encouraging both public and private sectors to become involved in the initiative.
In their vision, New York City leaders have identified five goals they wish to achieve through better broadband infrastructure:
Promote competition in the residential and commercial broadband markets.
Provide high-speed residential Internet service for low-income communities currently without service.
Increase investment in broadband corridors to reach high-growth business districts, with a focus on outer-borough neighborhoods.
Promote seamless user experience across public networks to create high speed access across the boroughs.
Explore innovative ways to provide high-speed Internet to homes, businesses, and the public.
At this point, they’re open to any technology or business model that can achieve these goals and is future proof.
As part of the RFI, the city provides links to New York’s essential reports and information about assets, including information about franchise agreements, micro trenching rules, and Wi-Fi hotspots. There’s also a link to the Queensbridge Connected program, the high-speed Internet service for folks living in the Queensbridge Houses. We spoke with the city’s Senior Advisor to the CTO Joshua Breitbart in May about the project during episode 254 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.
With about 8.5 million people distributed over an area of about 300 square miles, the community is the most densely populated in the U.S. Most people living multiple-dwelling units (MDUs) within its five burroughs and income levels vary dramatically.