FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 2, 2016
MAYOR’S OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION INVITING CIVIC TECH INNOVATORS TO “BROADBAND DATA DIG”
Administration to host a Broadband Data Analysis event with Brooklyn Public Library to assess the current state of digital infrastructure.
NEW YORK — The Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation today announced a “Broadband Data Dig” that will be hosted by Brooklyn Public Library on November 19 with support from the Ford Foundation and Horowitz Research. At the event, civic tech innovators, broadband experts, and data scientists will utilize newly-released local and federal broadband data to develop insights and recommendations about New York City’s digital infrastructure.
“This Data Dig will bring together some of the most talented and engaged volunteers from across the city to exchange ideas and help innovate for the future and boost connectivity across the city,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “A central tenet of the NYC Digital Playbook is to foster more collaboration with engaged citizens and civic technologists, and this event is a great example of that kind of partnership.”
“No institution has a closer view of the digital divide than the city’s public libraries,” said Brooklyn Public Library President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “Thousands of New Yorkers would be entirely disconnected without access to the free technology and broadband internet available at their local branches. We are excited to host the city’s brightest tech professionals and broadband experts so they may work with our patrons to envision a digital future in which all New Yorkers can participate if they choose.”
“I welcome input on how the City can expand its extensive broadband network,” said Anne Roest, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “This Broadband Data Dig is the perfect way to bring the civic tech community at the intersection of two of DoITT’s greatest areas of focus: data and support of the Mayor’s broadband goals. I look forward to seeing the analyses.”
“In 2015 we declared Open Data for All—we’re excited to be presenting New Yorkers with more opportunities to have access to data about their city, like this Broadband Data Dig,” said Dr. Amen Ra Mashariki, Chief Data Analytics Officer. “This is an opportunity for New Yorkers to glean insights from data about New York City that will be able to help have more New Yorkers connected to broadband. I’m looking forward to meeting with the winners of the event.”
“This is an exciting way to help the City continue to improve its broadband infrastructure,” said Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer of NYC. “I encourage all civic technologists to participate – and to come with their best ideas for a more connected New York.”
The data for this event includes a block-level look at broadband availability in New York City (from federal data), and development-by-development information about broadband at the New York City Housing Authority. Participants will use the datasets to help the City better understand the factors impacting broadband adoption, develop solutions to address broadband inequities, and design broadband data collection and maintenance policies.
Winning analyses will have the opportunity to pitch their "data digs" and recommendations to City officials, including Dr. Amen Ra Mashariki, Chief Analytics Officer; Joshua Breitbart, Senior Advisor for Broadband in the Mayor's Office; and Alphonso Jenkins, Deputy Commissioner for Telecommunications Planning at the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT).
Currently, 21 percent of New York City households do not have Internet access at home. The Administration has launched a number of initiatives to deliver affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband service to homes, businesses, and public spaces, including:
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