JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Big Apple provides free fibre for ease and speed

Date

Matthew Hall

Zoom in on this story. Explore all there is to know.

Fibre cable used for the National Broadband Network.

Fibre cable used for the National Broadband Network. Photo: Nic Walker

As Australia continues to debate the merits of the national broadband network, New York City is offering small and medium enterprises free fibre cable.

In a bid to ensure the city remains a leader in the global technology industry, its local government has launched ConnectNYC, a competition for businesses to bid for bring underwired buildings and neighbourhoods up to 21st-century speed.

''In today's world, broadband is a vital piece of infrastructure and we need to make sure New York City's wiring is competitive with other cities,'' mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

"Expanding broadband across the city is part of our strategy to make New York City a great place to do business and create jobs."

The initiative will immediately provide up to $US7 million ($A6.8 million) for IT infrastructure upgrades. It will focus on areas of the city that were previously used for other industry but are now being repurposed for the growing technology sector.

City officials say broadband infrastructure is critical to the future success of business. ConnectNYC is available to businesses with fewer than 100 employees in all industries.

"Getting more New York City businesses access to high-speed broadband will have a major impact on their ability to be competitive and ultimately succeed in today's marketplace," said Christine Quinn, City Council Speaker and a front-runner to succeed Bloomberg as New York City mayor in 2013. "Every business deserves a level playing field."

The initiative reflects the transformation some of New York City's industrial areas are experiencing.

In 2005, the city created the broadband advisory committee charged with identifying current and future needs of the public, enterprise, and non-profit sectors.

The committee, which included senior commercial infrastructure executives, public housing officials, researchers, and an editor from Wired magazine, was charged with confronting issues on universal access to broadband and fixing problems. ''We learned that fast, free and low-cost fibre does not exist in many of the commercial and manufacturing areas,'' said councillor Gale Brewer.

ConnectNYC is a partnership between ChallengePost, itself a start-up that crowd-sources solutions for governments and software companies.

A kind of eBay for tech problems, ChallengePost clients have included the World Bank, First Lady Michelle Obama's healthy eating program, and the US Federal Government.

The mayor's office has identified three areas of concern: ''The last mile'', where broadband exists in a neighbourhood but is not connected to enterprise-friendly buildings; ''digital deserts'', where areas are underserved by broadband; and the ''digital divide'', where low-income communities have low adoption rates for broadband connectivity.

The fibre rollout is estimated at $7 million in value, part of a $12 million investment pay TV providers Time Warner Cable and Cablevision are investing to upgrade infrastructure intended to benefit 240 businesses.

"We agree that building out the city's fibre infrastructure is vital to attracting new jobs and businesses," said Ken Fitzpatrick, a Time Warner Cable executive.

14 comments so far

  • Come on people, comment already. Reading all the rubbish mis/ill-informed anti NBN people have to say is quite amusing.

    Commenter
    Alex
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    November 06, 2012, 11:18AM
    • Yeah, I can't wait to have a good LOL also! They are all too busy emailing ConnectNYC, or commenting in the NY Times, telling them they're a joke and are wasting their money on obsolete fibre and that they should be installing wireless etc!!! Looks like it's 0/10 for Tony and 10/10 for Julia on the broadband front at least.

      Commenter
      FrankM
      Date and time
      November 06, 2012, 1:46PM
    • Alex - offering broadband to cities (free or otherwise) has nothing to do with wasting untold BILLIONS of BORROWED MONEY to build a fibre broadband network all over this large and great land. This country will be in debt for decades thanks to wastage on technology which we all knows becomes obsolete in a few short years. Spending a tenth of that money on bringing cities and businesses up to speed might be a worthwhile cause. A farm 400km North-West of Bourke doesn't need to be the "leader of global technological excellence"!

      Commenter
      Vlax
      Location
      G.
      Date and time
      November 06, 2012, 2:51PM
    • NYC is only providing $7 million. The NBN initial cost estimate is $43 billion. Final cost is anyone's guess.

      Commenter
      patrick
      Date and time
      November 06, 2012, 3:02PM
    • A bit different cabling 100 km2 of Manhattan that is partially cabled compared to 8 Million km2 of Australia, don't you think? Particularly as Time Warner is stumping up as well, no doubt to improve their cable TV footprint.

      @FrankM, Juliar had nothing to do with it... it was Rudd and Conroy wanting something big to buy votes, using our money.

      As usual, NBN fanbois confusing backbone infrastructure, business needs and home wants. The first two are essential for the future of Australia, the last one is a waste of money.... as the market is already proving, wireless technology will overrun fibre to the home for most people.

      Keep searching guys, I am sure you will find that killer app that needs a gig to every home.... Perhaps 20 channels of 4k TV in every room, including the dog kennel?

      Commenter
      GlassHalfEmpty
      Date and time
      November 06, 2012, 4:20PM
    • Patrick, $43 billion of BORROWED money! Glasshalfempty, not our money, its BORROWED money! The interest payments will bring it over $100 billion. Makes me want to cry.

      Commenter
      Vlax
      Location
      G.
      Date and time
      November 06, 2012, 5:28PM
    • @ Vlax - The govt is issuing govt bonds at a rate of approx 4% and the NBN is scheduled to return 7.1%. That is a 3.1% return on investment for critical infrastructure. That is actually good governance. Also fibre will only be laid to 94% of the population. The NBN have a mandate to lay fibre at cities/towns with a population of 100,000+. The farm out North West of Bourke will likely be serviced by satellite. Happy to be of service to help you with the correct facts about the NBN :)

      Commenter
      B.S.
      Date and time
      November 07, 2012, 6:44AM
    • @GlassHalfEmpty - thanks for your input, was only a matter of time before someone started rolling out the FUD. How is the market 'proving' that wireless is overrunning fibre? As of the last stats report 94% of data was fed along fixed lines. 94%... Big number.

      So remind me again how wireless is overrunning that? What you'll find is that there are more wireless users now, and there are, but that they dont use it as heavily.

      Moving into the future, I'd love a connection where I didnt have to wait for the others in the house to switch off before I could game. Its not about 1 persons needs, but the households. So if I want to game, someone else is streaming, and kids are studying, right now we get in each others way.

      The world moves forwards and we will need this extra capacity sooner or later. If we didnt, we may as well stuck with dialup - there were naysayers back then that were arrogant enough to believe that was enough for the worlds needs.

      Commenter
      Gav
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      November 07, 2012, 10:19AM
    • @Gav. The fundamental flaw in your argument is that everyone is like you… ie everyone wants everything and all the time, and if not now then they will in the future. By implication you also suggest that only fibre can meet those requirements, now and in the future. Clearly this is not the case. in fact the majority of personal/home needs, eg browsing, FB and email, are not anywhere as bandwidth intensive as you suggest and are met by most people using their convenient smartphone.

      You should also know that “transmission technology” hasn’t stopped at fibre… wireless and compression technologies continues to improve, as does traditional copper based transmission methods… all of which can meet the majority’s requirements with upgrades at much less cost than the NBN FTTH shotgun approach. Four years ago when Conroy took the NBN kneejerk against Telstra the 3G data speeds were around 1-2 M, now LTE is pushing 50M+ in a good area, LTE Advanced will be well ahead of this. The US will be delivering their NBP predominantly across wireless, so there are very big $$ for comms R&D going into wireless.

      By all means install FTTH in greenfield sites and for replacements, it is probably lineball with copper on installation cost (cabling, trenching and user electronics), but for existing customers a choice of improved copper-based or wireless will meet their needs for the foreseeable future, at much less cost to the country.

      Oh, and with four kids of school/uni age I might just understand your issues, but my basic 4-5M ADSL2+ seems to cope quite well.

      Commenter
      GlassHalfEmpty
      Date and time
      November 07, 2012, 4:32PM
  • > Vlax - wasting untold BILLIONS of BORROWED MONEY

    It is not wasted and it is not borrowed. It somehow may have escaped your attention that WE ARE RUNNING A SURPLUS RIGHT NOW or near as dammit. That means what we are spending this year is covered by this year's income.

    And it is infrastructure that will be there for 50 years at least. I can just see you 100 years ago complaining about installing copper wires to every home - how wasteful when we have unemployed messenger boys! Yet that copper is still there, bloody amazing if you ask me. But its time is done, and fibre is the obvious and indeed only replacement technology.

    Wireless is fine in its place but a broadcast technology can never replicate fixed line speeds; whatever tricks you can do to make it faster can be done over the fibre too with better results. Fibre's speed is only limited by the devices you can invent to stuff bits down it and read them out, the cable itself has nearly limitless potential speed. This is a future-proof investment as much as anything can be in this day and age.

    Commenter
    AndrewT
    Date and time
    November 06, 2012, 8:59PM

    More comments

    Make a comment

    You are logged in as [Logout]

    All information entered below may be published.

    Error: Please enter your screen name.

    Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Please enter your comment.

    Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

    Post to

    You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

    Thank you

    Your comment has been submitted for approval.

    Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

    Advertisement
    Featured advertisers
    Advertisement