New York City announced a program that will pump $12 million into infrastructure for local businesses. As part of a new initiative announced by Mayor Bloomberg, called the ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge, 240 local businesses will receive free fiber wiring upgrades over the next two years valued at about $50,000 per business. Businesses that want to receive the upgrade will enter a contest organized by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

"In recent years, New York City has emerged as a global hub of technology and innovation," NYCEDC president Seth Pinsky told the New York Daily News. "The launch of the ConnectNYC competition is the next important step in our efforts to build upon this momentum."

Businesses that enter the contest will be selected based on how their connectivity will help the city and each business grow while connecting underserved areas. Time Warner Cable and Cablevision agreed to pay for the $12 million in upgrades on the condition that businesses sign up for one year of broadband service after receiving the upgrade. In the first year of the initiative, 100 businesses will be scheduled to receive upgrades, which will cost an estimated $7 million.

Businesses have until Nov. 27 to submit their application for the challenge and the applications will be judged until Jan. 18, 2013. Winners of the competition will be announced on Feb. 1, 2013.

Businesses can apply for an upgrade at NYCFiberChallenge.com.