High-speed internet is an essential service that keeps New Yorkers connected, but a lack of competition has kept broadband bills high and left some neighborhoods with little or no service.
In May 2021, the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) released a broadband solicitation specifically crafted to encourage an expansion of affordable residential and commercial internet infrastructure and offerings in underserved communities. To increase competition in underserved areas of the City and accelerate the build-out of broadband infrastructure outside of the Manhattan core, DoITT is considering aggressive discounts for broadband companies signing on to a new information services franchise agreement. For example, DoITT is considering, for a limited time, counting only linear footage in Manhattan below 96th Street for a certain number of years when determining compensation to the City. Other incentives are also under consideration to encourage new entrants and companies with a smaller fiber build.
This solicitation builds on efforts to recognize affordable home broadband as an essential utility like water, electricity, gas, and phone service. It aims to stimulate and increase business competition by incentivizing companies, large and small, in order to improve accessibility for everyday New Yorkers. Through this and other programs, DoITT will continue to explore ways to invest in underserved communities through digital equity programs.
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When is the deadline to apply to become a New York City broadband provider?
The first round of applications is due July 1, 2021, but the solicitation will remain open until October 15, 2025. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
When will companies be selected?
DoITT expects to start announcing companies by the end of 2021.
Is there more information about the proposed discount for companies?
In addition to DoITT's proposed discount outlined in the solicitation, DoITT will consider suggestions from respondents when finalizing franchise agreement terms.
Is the solicitation only for residential broadband service?
In addition to residential broadband, the Information Services Franchise includes data-transmission services used by businesses and residents.
What if I still have questions after reading the solicitation?
Questions can be submitted in writing only to email@example.com.