New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg on Monday outlined new plans to expand public Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the city, including Downtown Brooklyn, the Flatiron District and East River. The initiative is an effort to, in Bloomberg's words, grow one of the world's biggest tourist destinations into a global hub of technology and innovation. Monday also marks the launch of WiredNYC, which is essentially designed to push the deployment of broadband in the commercial real estate market.
The two separate initiatives will play off each other. With the deployment of Wi-Fi across the city's five boroughs, WiredNYC will act as a rating platform to evaluate connectivity and infrastructure across office buildings; the program is completely transparent, and uses an "LEED for broadband" certification process—there are Platinum, Gold, Silver and Connected ratings—so landlords and tenants know the exact technology being used in their area. At the moment, over 150 buildings are part of WiredNYC, amounting to 100 million square feet of office space.
In Monday's announcement, Bloomberg recognizes how important Wi-Fi is to the growing Internet culture, and how crucial fast speeds are for businesses in particular. The initiatives are basically designed to give everyone their fair chance to compete, and ensure locations across the city are thriving.
"The Bloomberg Administration has prioritized connectivity infrastructure so that all New Yorkers can have access to the networks of information that make our economy run," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. "These initiatives move us forward on a path to constant connectivity."
Also part of Mayor Bloomberg's plan to increase Wi-Fi access is the Wireless Corridor Challenge, which "will leverage private-sector partnerships to maximize the reach of the program." The goal of the challenge is to increase connectivity in both residential and commercial districts, which political figures see as a stepping stone to driving new business, among other benefits—"bridging the digital divide." The Wireless Corridor Challenge was recently awarded to five different organizations, which are all responsible for developing a neighborhood plan, and then implementing that plan to fruition.
"The initiatives announced today will benefit residents, businesses and visitors, and help enhance New York City's position in today's competitive marketplace," said New York City Chief Information and Innovation Officer Rahul Merchant.
As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, it's important Internet access is available wherever you go, and not just in specific sections. Mayor Bloomberg's broadband initiatives are designed to ensure real estate giants make Wi-Fi more accessible across the city's Burroughs, and keep pushing New York City forward as one of today's leading hubs of global technology.