Diamond Consultants to publicly brief Broadband Advisory Committee regarding the Bloomberg Administration's plans for bridging the digital divide

I just received this notice from a contact at the City Council. Everyone should attend if they can (unfortunately I won’t be able to go) and report back.

Very curious too that:

(a) The report from Diamond Consultants is only about the digital divide, since I was under the impression that the research was supposed to be about a lot more than just the digital divide, and

(b) This is being presented as “the Bloomberg Administration’s plans”, because I would think that the Bloomberg Administration would present their own plans and not have a consultant present for them, and further their “plans” should be based in part on the findings of the Broadband Advisory Committee, who’s whole point of existing is to bring a different perspective and set of expertise to any “plans” that are created.

Overall, I’m not too hopeful for what will be presented. I suspect it will be much too little, and frankly at least 6 months too late. This administration inexplicably has shown no spine for dealing with internet and network access issues and tends to kowtow to Verizon and Time Warner Cable. But, maybe, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

CITY HALL – On Wednesday, July 30th at 11:00am there will be a briefing from the Mayor’s Office and Diamond Consultants for the Broadband Advisory Committee regarding the Bloomberg Administration’s plans for bridging the digital divide in New York City.

The Broadband Advisory Committee was established in 2005 with the passage of Introduction 625-A creating a joint public broadband commission to advise the Mayor and the City Council of New York on how the resources of City government can be used to stimulate the private market so that residents and businesses of New York City have more options in terms of high-speed Internet access. The goal of the committee is to educate the general public about broadband and the newest communication technologies, and to give New York City residents the opportunity to comment on how the digital divide in New York City can be closed. To support these efforts the Broadband Advisory Committee has held public Broadband Hearings in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. The Committee will hold its fifth and final hearing in Staten Island this fall.

Diamond Consultants was hired by the New York City Economic Development Corporation to determine the breadth of the digital divide in New York City and develop programs and initiatives to provide greater digital inclusion for all residents. Chris O’Brien, a Partner in Diamond’s Public Sector practice, will be detailing Diamond’s findings and its recommendations for the City’s next steps.

The meeting will take place in the Committee of the Whole Room, City Hall, New York, NY on Wednesday, July 30th at 11:00 am. This is a public meeting and all are welcome to attend. For further information please contact Kunal Malhotra, Director of Legislation & Budget, 212-788-6975 or Kunal.Malhotra@council.nyc.gov.

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