Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kathleen Clark, Mayor’s Office of the CTO; E: kaclark@cto.nyc.gov, P: 646-927-9592
 
Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer Issues Request for Information on Citywide Broadband Deployment
 
November 15, 2017
 
City calls on experts to weigh in on achieving goal to connect New Yorkers to affordable, reliable, high speed internet service by 2025
 
NEW YORK – Today the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer released a Request for Information (RFI) to gather input from industry experts to inform the City's implementation plan for universal broadband. Universal broadband refers to the City’s goal to connect every resident and business with affordable, reliable, high speed internet service by 2025, as stated in One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City.  The results of the RFI can be used to shape a more formal request for proposals or other measures to help the City achieve its goal.

New York City has a history of being ambitious and forward-thinking in infrastructure, and the City is open to creative solutions that will maximize public benefit and private investment, and provide reliable, high-quality services to meet community needs.

The RFI lays out five principles to guide the City's broadband investments and partnerships: Performance, Affordability, Equity, Choice and Privacy. The request poses questions about network architecture, use of City assets, deployment and construction, business parameters and partnership opportunities, and standards, policies and performance indicators.

Currently, one in five New Yorkers do not have internet in the home, a figure that goes to one in three for New Yorkers living in poverty.

"The next generation of broadband is a historic opportunity for New York to be the fairest big city in America,” said Miguel Gamiño, Jr., New York City Chief Technology Officer. “In discovering the right solutions and partnerships through this RFI, we are not only delivering on Mayor de Blasio’s vision for affordable broadband for all, but also delivering prosperity for generations to come.”

The RFI builds on the launch of NYCx and the Governors Island Connectivity Challenge to further attract industry experts and allow them to provide input on how the City can develop successful models for deploying broadband through testing and deployment of solutions on Governors Island. The Challenge has received over 20 proposals which are under review. Finalists will be awarded in early 2018.

“Today, access to the internet is a necessity, not a luxury. Every single New Yorker deserves affordable, high-speed service they can depend on, and this RFI brings us one step closer to delivering exactly that,” said Anne Roest, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “We look forward to reviewing ideas from industry experts on ways to build truly universal broadband, which is central to our goal of becoming the most connected city in the world.”
 
“Access to affordable and reliable broadband service is a fundamental issue of our time. The lack of high-speed internet connectivity in many of our neighborhoods is deepening the inequality gap by leaps and bounds, particularly for historically disenfranchised communities that have been hurt time and again by a lack of meaningful infrastructure investment,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “I appreciate the City’s continued focus on this critical matter for Brooklyn and New York City as a whole.”

“It’s 2017, and internet access is the key public utility of the digital age. Affordable broadband service should be a right,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I’m pleased to support this initiative, which can bring the promise of cheap, ubiquitous broadband closer to reality.”
 
“Access to reliable, high-speed internet is no longer a luxury -- in 2017 it is a necessity,” said New York City Council Member Ben Kallos. “Whether you are a small business competing for customers or a high school student doing homework, access to broadband could make the difference between landing a big contract or not or getting an A on a research paper. I applaud this administration's efforts as New York City works toward universal broadband access."
 
“Internet access is a modern-day necessity and it is of the utmost importance that all New Yorkers have access to high-quality and affordable internet service,” said New York City Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Technology. “Over the last several years, the City has made progress in bridging the digital divide, yet there is still room for improvement. I’m glad the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer is exploring ways to make even further progress and I’m excited to see the responses to this RFI.”

Anyone can respond to the RFI. Responses are due January 19, 2018, and can be submitted at http://on.nyc.gov/nycconnectedrfi.