DoITT successfully put forth, and the New York City Council approved, the Information Services Resolution (Res. No. 1445-2020) in December 2020, which authorized the City to bring in new companies to expand the residential and commercial broadband options available to New Yorkers. The passing of this resolution lays the groundwork for increased competition, access and ultimately more affordable broadband services in New York City. It represents a major step forward toward helping to close the digital divide and to ensuring readiness for a robust and competitive broadband landscape across New York City’s diverse neighborhoods. DoITT is currently in the process of publishing a solicitation, after which additional broadband vendors will be selected and permitted to offer services in the city.
While broadband service in New York City is almost universally available - residential coverage stands at virtually 100 percent, and business access is pervasive - there is a gap in the adoption of broadband, particularly among older adults and lower-income residents of the City. DoITT takes a leadership role in implementing several programs to address the interrelated aspects of this gap. Through franchises and other agreements with private entities, as well as a variety of public funding opportunities, we are able to create large-scale innovative public services, like bringing Wi-Fi to nearly a hundred blocks of Harlem, creating computer centers for public utilization, and expanding digital access across the five boroughs. By leveraging both government and private-sector resources, these initiatives enhance the City's abilities to bring innovative technologies to residents. As part of this model, DoITT strives to maximize benefits to the public when establishing franchise agreements.
Click below to learn more about each one of our Broadband Access programs:
As part of their franchise contract renewals with the City, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision have partnered with DoITT and the Parks Department to provide public Wi-Fi service in nearly 80 parks locations across the five boroughs. NYC Parks Wi-Fi access is available on a free and limited-free basis. View a map of Parks WiFi locations.
Encompassing more than 95 city blocks, the Harlem Wi-Fi Network is the largest continuous public outdoor Wi-Fi network in New York City. The free public network is funded through a generous donation from the Fuhrman Family Foundation to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City and is expected to serve approximately 80,000 Harlem residents, as well as visitors and businesses. Learn more about the Harlem WiFi project.
Expanding the availability of public computer centers and classes in libraries, public housing facilities, senior centers, and community centers in the City's highest poverty neighborhoods, the NYC Connected Communities program offers an array of new resources, centering on digital literacy and employment support.
The NYCHA Digital Van project will offer Wi-Fi access, laptops, and printers. Vans travel around the city to provide New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents and community members with access to the Internet for a wide range of personal uses, such as searching for job opportunities, touching-up their resumes, and much more. Learn more about the NYCHA Digital Van program.
As part of its franchise contract renewal with the City, Time Warner Cable has committed to fund Internet-ready public computer centers in partnership with local non-profit organizations. 40 centers will be created by 2020. These centers will provide free broadband access to underserved populations in Time Warner Cable's service footprint. View a list of the TWC Learning Labs constructed to date.