May 21, 2014
By Stephanie West
New York, NY — Mayor Bill de Blasio has outlined a series of initiatives his administration is pursuing to become a technology-friendly city. The Mayor has emphasized four key priorities: attracting and growing tech talent locally; ensuring universal, high-speed, affordable broadband access for all New Yorkers and New York City business; supporting government innovation; and digital engagement in government.
“Technology is critical to New York’s place as a 21st Century city. Not just because tech brings lots of investment and jobs—but because successful cities have always thrived on the disruption new technology brings,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “New York kept its position as global leader by moving forward with technological and economic advances, and this administration is committed to doing everything to expand our talent pool and develop our innovation economy.”
New York is expanding its partnering programs with local tech firms and organizations.
In Harlem, the city has partnered with the Fuhrman Family Foundation to build the largest continuous free outdoor public wireless network in the nation. The Harlem Wi-Fi network—scheduled for completion this summer—will extend 95 city blocks, from 110th to 138th Streets between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Madison Avenue, reaching approximately 80,000 New Yorkers.
The city is working with the public library system on a pilot program to lend wi-fi wireless devices and Wi-Fi subscriptions to low-income students in library after-school programs.
An essential part of expanding economic opportunity for every New Yorker involves ensuring universal, affordable, high-speed Internet access. More than one-third of New York households do not have access to highest-speed broadband, as of December 2012. The de Blasio administration is building one of the largest free public Wi-Fi networks in the world. Aging Payphones will be transformed into Modern Information Hubs and Free Wi-Fi Hotspots.
To ensure all New Yorkers living in public housing have broadband access, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) will work to ensure the seven computer centers in NYCHA housing that do not have broadband access obtain it. To create additional opportunities for residents to get online, the city is also working to expand the digital van that NYCHA sends to its housing developments.
Later this year, the city will formally launch the .nyc web address, making the City of New York the first in the country with a top-level domain. This will bring new opportunities to support local businesses, organizations and residents.