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Tech Policy Goal 1

Make New York City the most wired city on earth by providing every New Yorker and every New York business, regardless of location, access to the fastest broadband networks at the lowest cost.


Submitted by jessica 1 year ago

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  1. The idea was posted
    1 year ago

Comments (17)

  1. Yes, but how. NYC politicians should face down lobbyists for the cable companies and telephone companies and make conduits and rights of way available to competitive back bone providers. They should renegotiate franchise agreements with cable companies eliminating public access channels in exchange for unfiltered unthrottled Internet access at increasing speeds over the years and strict adherence to network neutrality principles. They must commit to enforce telecommunication degegulation to ensure competitive local exchange carriers the use of last mile wire to homes and access to the switching centers and conduit that allow them to build out fiber to the home when the incumbent telecommunications carriers choose not to do that. These moves will require real political leadership because the current city bureaucracies are captured by companies they regulate and the politicians receive large campaign donations from them.

    1 year ago
    1. I agree with Brad. But in addition to allowing & promoting greater competition (which is critical), NYC politicians need to work with both the real estate and service provider (ISP) communities to reduce some of the barriers that obstruct the proliferation of high-speed broadband. This could mean creating a model universal point of entry agreement, instituting standard codes of conduct for how work is performed in buildings, as well as discouraging or penalizing "door fees" and exclusivity agreements. These types of measures would encourage increased collaboration between service providers and landlords. More than anything, NYC needs to educate the real estate community about the benefits of broadband and the fact that this is not just an amenity but actually a vital requirement for attracting tech businesses

      1 year ago
    2. This is where the real revolution begins. I was just reading about Aaron Swartz and was horrified about how much we've lost. The airwaves and the bandwidth is ours, the peoples' and it is ours to control and take back. To make a real effort here, we need to make a coordinated effort from the outside and the inside. The powers that be have too much financial interest in freeing the net to everyone. This is a long term effort that needs to be set forth with a great deal of strategy. This is where the NYTech Meetup Community needs to advocate for its own members to enter the political arena to advocate for revolutionary change. At the same time an equally effective and achievable method needs to be advanced by organizing a netizen army to educate, lobby and bring about public support for the Constitution rights that we are furthering by freeing the internet for all and the (and possibly a more effective argument, at least for those who currently hold all of the financial power), that in the long run, a free and open internet will lead to even more profit for those holding the chips.

      The case must be made for self-benefit of the financial and political elite in order for this effort to succeed politically and economically. The question is where do we begin and who is in?

      1 year ago
    3. The internet problems that occur in this city are terrible. I've heard multiple stories and seen first hand: tech companies taken down for a full afternoon because of area outages, with no updates to the customers impacted. Losing an afternoon of work is a HUGE setback for a company.

      There must be a way to provide more consistent service in this city. And in the interim, can we at least require updates to the customers?

      I'm happy to see that this important Infrastructure improvement has been up-voted to the top ranking issue here!

      1 year ago
  2. i would like to see NYC, not the cable and telephone companies, light up the entire NYC subway system with a fiber network and high speed wifi access points so that every subway car in the city would have free wifi on it. this would unleash tremendous productivity improvements for students going to and from school, workers going to and from work, and would also provide a host of public safety and public service improvements in the subway system.

    1 year ago
    1. I think specific efforts like this will only help the overall case, but I feel that if you are truly looking for free internet for all in NYC, then we need to focus on educating the public on who owns the airwaves and we need to lobby, infiltrate public policymakers and begin the effort to turn this public resource back to its rightful owner: taxpayers. It is We the People who should be able to make the determination of how we rent out or give away public property. The government makes those decisions. The NY Tech Meetup community needs to lead an effort to: 1. Become a part of the decision maker community and 2. Further extend its existing efforts to lobby, educate and eventually take control of the decision making power for property that is in fact already ours, but currently out of our control.

      1 year ago
    2. I agree in principle - Data is the New Utility. Data is the Plumbing and Electricity of 100 years ago, that along with the Elevator and the Steel Frame, allowed the creation of megacities like NYC. And this Data will ride on this network. But I'm not convinced it should be totally operated by the city - perhaps a public/private partnership would be better. A hybrid of what the City is doing with Plumbing (which is operated by the City) and Electricity (operated by ConEd).

      1 year ago
    3. Having internet access on the subway will literally expand the work day for many of us by over two hours. I personally would pay for a subscription or donate toward a cause like this. Kickstarter anyone?

      I do think we also need to be mindful that internet on the subway will also increase the number of healthy people that "need" to sit and don't notice the people around them. We'd need to couple this with some sort of way to ensure that people who are handicapped, pregnant, etc get seats.

      1 year ago
  3. Fred: Boingo is doing it for the city on the west side.

    It is their investment, not the city's.

    Will they recover costs in subscriptions? TBD.

    How much productivity improvements you expect? "tremendous"?

    Mostly carrying on a text-conversation, I suppose.

    How many people do that daily (aside from texting that they are running late?) Or are we just going for the intangible benefit here?

    1 year ago
  4. A couple of things. First, I'm surprised no one discussed holding Verizon accountable as the utility provider who also has a franchise to upgrade and offer FiOS to all of new york.

    Next, you probably don't that everyone reading this who has phone service from Verizon got rate increases to pay for upgrading the state with fiber optics -- in fact this happened multiple times.

    Moreover, it is impossible to get access to the wires as Verizon with AT&T got broadband and internet reclassified as information services (as opposed to telecommunications services and so most competitors can't offer services-- why can't you select your own internet provider over the phone or cable broadband networks?

    The tech community has also been split brained and hasn't been advocates for reopening the networks much less holding the companies accountable over the last decade --

    Also, many may not know that Verizon and AT&T have been going state-to state to close down any utility networks -- even though these were the wires hat were supposed to be upgraded with fiber over the last 2 decades.

    Verizon has in fact sued the FCC to stop Net neutrality,

    We should be calling for investigations about all the money collected in the name of broadband, the major cross-cross-subsidization of the other affiliate businesses instead of properly upgrading the essential infrastructure.

    They could pull their franchises,-- I believe even Cuomo mentioned this about the electric companies -- or have the AG investigate.

    The government or the city shouldn't build it -- There should be robust competition on all levels, which today does not exist-- and it should be upgraded with the funds they've been collecting for decades.

    The Tech community could make a difference, but for the most part there is a disconnect between the telecom side of this equation and the connectivity to the device.

    With the pending changes happening in DC and at the FCC, where instead of getting the companies to build out they're removing basic laws and obligations, fixing this should be a priority.

    for more information my recent articles on this -- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-kushnick/

    1 year ago
    1. "The government or the city shouldn't build it -- There should be robust competition on all levels, which today does not exist-- and it should be upgraded with the funds they've been collecting for decades"

      Just like in the healthcare bill, where the government and the private healthcare companies will be competing with each other, there is one thing that gets in the way of the private sector running things and that is profit. A single payer plan would have been the most successful (see world for examples), but most politically difficult system.

      Similarly, why wouldn't a government takeover of the net be something that could actually, in fact benefit all businesses, small and big alike (except for those in the game like AT&T, Verizon, etc.

      1 year ago
    2. Healthy and robust competition plus a local government involvement to ensure everyone has access to minimum standards of high speed internet is a very good recipe to improve the net infrastructure in the city. I'm not an expert on the standards in the US / NYC area but this has worked in other countries I don't see why it should not work for NYC. Having mainly two dominant actors with no incentive nor public pressure to expand their network is much less effective in terms of value produced.

      I disagree that the government should build it itself, imho its role is more to make up for market inefficiencies and create a healthy regulatory environment. Telecoms market have natural tendency towards oligopoly / monopoly, the city should make its plan to counter that.

      1 year ago
  5. I see that two people, Theresa Collins and Charlie O'

    Donnell, have disagreed with this goal. Would either of you like to state your reasoning?

    1 year ago
  6. I am less than a block from a major Verizon central office and I still can't get "FIOS" business service installed here - the salesmen say I can, and refer me to a phone number, but after several months and at least 20 phone calls and emails I can't get any reasonable response, even to say "NO" you can't get it. They simply aren't going to do it without a mandate.

    1 year ago
  7. "Similarly, why wouldn't a government takeover of the net be something that could actually, in fact benefit all businesses, small and big alike (except for those in the game like AT&T, Verizon, etc."

    the companies currently own the wires, so to actually start a muni build in New York would also have to connect to those wires and today, the are rules to block competitors from using the wires on the federal level, Way to complicated to go into here, the bottom line is that connection to the current networks is off the table unless legal actions were taken.

    Moreover, it would cost billions to do the upgrades and Verizon and Time Warner would probably sue the city.

    And worse, there are plans afoot to remove whatever is left of competitors by redefining the telecommunications networks as 'information services' and thus removing any remaining obligations to allow the remaining competitors to use the wires. AT&T has petitioned the FCC to close down these obligations in a current FCC docket, and AT&T-Verizon-Cable company funded Congressmen and senators are planning a new bill in congress next few months.

    The tech community could have a significant role in reversing this bad path -- and so it's good that policy issues are on the table.

    The bottom line is that the internet rides over the wires and airwaves and so besides SOPA-PIPA and net neutrality, the real battle ground are the open networks and upgrades.

    1 year ago
  8. Establish Universal Internet to provide improved connectivity to all New Yorkers at reduced or no cost.

    Universal Internet is vital for making information accessible for local residents -- became a reality last month with a $500 million high-speed wireless network for all 300+ square miles of New York City. While this network is currently reserved for first responders, we must expand Universal Internet, whether through universal broadband or wireless, to the general public so that everyone in the city has some form of access. New York City as a whole has some of the slowest Internet connections at a higher cost than most other cities in the country, which means jobs lost to more connected cities. We should work with our phone and cable companies (that exist as limited monopolies which have access to much of our City’s infrastructure at little to no cost) to provide a better Internet at a lower cost. Another benefit to Universal Internet would be added public safety from the ability to display emergency messages to every web browser in the City in the event of another major emergency. Improvements to current commercial Internet connections coupled with cost reductions and the availability of Universal Internet will be one of the major catalysts New York City needs to leap into the twenty-first century as “THE Creative City.”


    1 year ago
  9. Or we could just build our own mesh networks and bypass the large telecom corporations altogether

    1 year ago