Broadband Deployment

DoITT is facilitating the expansion of high-speed internet across the five boroughs by directing fiber to industrial and commercial locations, promoting broadband adoption, and providing access to more broadband choices. Through agreements with private sector companies, known as “franchises,” the City of New York is expanding connectivity for both residents and businesses.  Initiatives include:

Expanding Fiber Deployment

DoITT has an agreement with Time Warner Cable to expand fiber optic network technology to established and emerging business locations in New York City. The investments align closely with New York City's desire to attract growth businesses that rely heavily on advanced communications technology. In addition to wiring the Brooklyn Navy Yard, as part of its cable television franchise renewal with the City, Time Warner Cable has been laying and will continue to lay 20 miles of fiber per year through 2020.

Microtrenching in New York City

New York is the first large U.S. city to approve the use of microtrenching by companies who wish to rapidly deploy fiber optic cable. This change is part of the City’s comprehensive effort to expand broadband connectivity and bolster the City’s growing technology sector. Microtrenching is the process of shallowly installing small conduits along the perimeter of City sidewalks in order to house fiber optic cabling, which can be used to deliver voice, internet, and cable television service. The benefits of microtrenching include:
  • The rapid expansion and improvement of the City's fiber optic broadband access.
  • Quick deployment with minimal disruption to street and roadway traffic.
  • Minimal interference with public utility infrastructure, and cost effective.
  • Excess capacity provided by the installed systems - at least four pathways on low-density residential blocks and six pathways in other areas - will be available for use by City agencies and other communications industry providers.
  • Learn more and apply for access to excess capacity.

Broadband Choices: Verizon FiOS

To provide New Yorkers with more cable television and broadband options, the City, in 2008, granted a franchise to Verizon to expand fiber optic internet service (FiOS) throughout the five boroughs. Where available, FiOS ensures greater competition among Internet providers, encourages greater capacities and lower rates, and gives New Yorkers more choices when it comes to picking a cable television provider.

In June 2015, DoITT released the findings of an audit examining Verizon’s FiOS implementation to date, revealing significant shortcomings in the company’s efforts to bring FiOS to every New Yorker who wants it. Since that time, the City had been negotiating with Verizon to ensure it delivers on its commitment to fully serve all five boroughs.

In November 2020, the City of New York announced a new agreement to hold Verizon accountable for building out FiOS connectivity for more New Yorkers. Verizon’s high-speed fiber broadband will now be made available to an additional 500,000 households, prioritizing our least-connected communities and New York City Housing Authority residents. Many of the neighborhoods that stand to benefit fall within community districts hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. These low-income households have historically had few options for affordable broadband. The agreement requires Verizon to report its progress on a quarterly basis. The list of new households eligible for FiOS or broadband service will be posted publicly.

New Yorkers who wish to file a complaint about Verizon can do so by calling 311 or filing a complaint online.