NYC to bridge digital divide for 1.6 million people and advance racial equity – Bronx Times

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Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced the biggest step for any city in American history towards providing affordable broadband for everyone.

Thanks to his Internet master plan, New York City will be the first city in the country to reverse the digital red line that has left communities of color disconnected, ensuring that minority and women-owned businesses (M / WBE) participate in economic growth broadband industry, and promote affordable, high-quality Internet service options for New Yorkers on a large scale.

“Broadband is not a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said de Blasio, a Democrat. “We are bridging the digital divide and bringing our city into the 21stst century by reaching the communities that need it most.

The city has announced that it will reach up to 1.6 million New Yorkers over the next 36 months using $ 157 million to build state-owned open access broadband infrastructure. The city is also appointing a wide range of businesses – large and small, including several M / WBEs – to provide fast, reliable and affordable connectivity options to an additional 70,000 residents of NYCHA and 150,000 residents of surrounding communities of here the beginning of 2022.

Already, the city is offering free or low-cost Internet connectivity options to up to 40,000 residents in 18 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments by the end of the year. This landmark initiative brings newly affordable connectivity to a majority of NYCHA residents, with options to further extend affordable broadband to all areas of the city.

“The City is taking unprecedented steps to ensure that the digital divide soon becomes a thing of the past,” said Emma Wolfe, Deputy Mayor for Administration and Chief of Staff. “We don’t just connect New Yorkers to the Internet. Through the City’s investment in connectivity and new infrastructure, we are ensuring that affordable, reliable and reliable high-speed Internet service is possible over the long term.

The New York City Internet Master Plan is a unique nationwide roadmap for bridging the digital divide and transforming the broadband market, inspiring businesses of all sizes, including M / WBEs, to deliver new high-performance and affordable broadband service options. New York’s Internet master plan found that nearly a third of New York City households lacked broadband at home and others lacked mobile connectivity. This means that nearly 3.4 million inhabitants have been partially or totally excluded from modern life. The Internet master plan is accelerating the deployment of broadband to tackle racial inequalities by prioritizing social housing communities, which have already suffered from decades of digital redlining.

Disparities in Internet infrastructure and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are particularly concentrated in specific geographic areas – the southern Bronx, Upper Manhattan, Southeast Queens, and central Brooklyn – which experience some of the city’s highest poverty rates. New Yorkers in these neighborhoods have fewer service options, which can lead to less affordable service, as long-time incumbent ISPs are discouraged from competing for customers.

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