Residents of New York City will receive increased access to public high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi services over the next nine years, thanks to the city’s renewal agreements with big cable providers.
In a statement released by the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) this month, the city’s cable TV franchise contracts with Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems will provide approximately $60 million in benefits.
Those benefits include:
• the creation of 40 public computing centers to provide free broadband access to low-income communities across the city;
• free commercial-grade Internet service to all public libraries in Cablevision’s service area;
• expansion of broadband to industrial areas;
• a $10 million Wi-Fi investment for 32 parks that includes 30 minutes per month free for all users with a 99 cent per day fee thereafter, and free at all times to Time Warner Cable and Cablevision broadband subscribers;
• increased Public, Education and Government (PEG) channels;
• $1.5 million in funding from Time Warner to support new media research in New York City; and
• $20 million in new funding to upgrade Citynet, New York City’s institutional fiber network that serves city agencies and employees.
The franchise contracts will run through July 18, 2020.
“With expanded access to Wi-Fi in parks, new computer centers, broadband expansion to the city’s industrial areas and new public access channels, these agreements provide New Yorkers the world-class tools, services and access they need to more fully participate in the digital economy,” said Carole Post, commissioner of DoITT, in a press release.