Vision 1 Goal

Broadband

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OneNYC recognized the internet as a prerequisite for full participation in the city’s economic and civic life and established the goal of making sure every New Yorker has affordable, high-speed internet access by 2025. This work is being advanced through the NYC Connected program, launched by the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer to ensure high-quality internet everywhere, to eliminate cost as a barrier to access, and to make the internet a just and equitable platform. Indeed, bold action is needed to close the digital divide, with nearly one third of New York City households lacking a home broadband subscription and nearly half of the city’s small businesses without access to gigabit-speed service.

IndicatorLatest DataPrevious Data
Percentage of New York City households with a home broadband subscription69%
(2018)
Data Not Available
Percentage of New Yorkers with access to free public WiFi within an eighth of a mile from home28%
(2018) 
26%
(2017)
Percentage of commercial enterprises with fast internal access at 1 GBps (gigabites per second) or higher55.96%
(2018) 
56.49%
(2017)

Over the past several years, the City has launched a suite of innovative programs to move us toward universal, affordable internet. More than 3.5 million people have used free Wi-Fi at LinkNYC kiosks and thousands of NYCHA residents are benefiting from free internet service; in the meantime, NYC Connected Communities provides additional resources at community centers across the city.


Served over 3.5 million people through LinkNYC, the world’s largest and fastest free municipal Wi-Fi network

LinkNYC was launched in 2016 and has already become the world’s largest and fastest free municipal Wi-Fi network, with over 1,400 payphones converted to Wi-Fi kiosks. Over 3.5 million people—more than the individual populations of the cities of Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Dallas, and San Diego—have used the free gigabit Wi-Fi service, with tens of thousands of new users joining the network each week. LinkNYC Wi-Fi subscribers have used more than 3,625,000 GB of data, the equivalent of streaming 580 million songs and 3 million video hours, sending 36 billion emails and 123 billion messages. LinkNYC kiosks are also being deployed for other purposes, with the 55-inch digital displays functioning as bus time arrival clocks in certain locations and to broadcast public service announcements (PSAs) such as healthcare enrollment deadlines.


Led efforts to resist federal repeal of net neutrality rules and protect free and open internet

In December 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed net neutrality rules that ensured that all internet traffic be treated equally. By overturning the net neutrality protections, internet service providers can now slow down or charge customers more to access certain websites. In a coordinated response, Mayor de Blasio has formed a bipartisan national coalition of mayors and other city leaders, and established the Cities Open Internet Pledge to use local authority to protect net neutrality. The pledge includes a specific set of commitments for how signatories including New York City will use local public Wi-Fi or municipal broadband, plus local purchasing and regulatory powers, to ensure the internet remains an open medium. The FCC’s proposal to reverse rules that would maintain a free and open internet is part and parcel of a larger effort by the federal government to erode protections for working-class people, which also includes Congress’ and the president’s unconscionable gutting of essential online privacy protections, the usurpation of authority to monitor the deployment of critical internet infrastructure, and efforts to undermine the Lifeline subsidy to connect the underserved to the internet.