“In New York City, nearly a third of households do not have a broadband internet connection at home, and over 1.5 million New Yorkers have neither a mobile connection or home broadband connection,” writes Emily Nonko for Next City.
New York City has long had problems with equitable internet access. Large companies have dominated the market, pushing prices out of reach for many, especially for those in low-income communities. And because companies like Verizon have built their own infrastructure without any collaboration with the city or other companies, there exists a disparity in cost and service quality across New York’s boroughs, with service providers less willing to upgrade access in communities where returns are not guaranteed.
Nine years ago, Verizon promised that they would provide access to high-speed internet to every household in New York City, but the city believes Verizon failed to honor that agreement, and in 2017 sued the company.
Now New York City has a new Internet Master Plan to provide universal broadband. The cost of the plan is estimated at $2.1 billion and will rely on public/private partnerships. It will require the building of fiber optic infrastructure at nearly every street intersection to provide lower-cost home and mobile services as well as free access in public spaces, wireless corridors and computer centers.
With this plan, the city hopes to remain economically competitive while making broadband access far more equitable and inclusive. They believe no New Yorker should have to choose between a mobile phone bill and a monthly food bill.
Read the original article here.
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