December Meeting: Wed. Dec 28th at 7:15PM

Wednesday, December 28th, 2005 at 7:15pm
568 Broadway at Prince St, NE corner
Suite 404
New York, NY 10012
(Please note: Everybody will need to sign-in in the lobby.)


  1. Steve Morton/Boundless Security Systems: Can City-Scale WiFi Reduce Crime?
  2. What are the obstacles and opportunities for city-scale wireless video surveillance, especially in crime-plagued neighborhoods?
    A fascinating discussion about’s new wifi surveillance system that greatly enhances image clarity, network capacity and mobility. This could be a tremendously effective tool for law enforcement that could help reduce crime. How can privacy concerns be balanced? Steve will also cover system design, and possible deployment schemes — followed by an extended Q&A session.

  3. Year-end roundup and NYCwireless-2006 resolutions
  4. Workshop breakout sessions: small group discussions from novice to advanced questions

More about Steven G. Morton

Steve is CEO and CTO of Boundless Security Systems, Inc. in Newtown, CT.

He is the architect of an ultra low bandwidth, digital video surveillance system. It has been shown to multiply the number of wireless video surveillance channels 100-fold, and to enable video surveillance to easily be moved to wherever the most crime is this week. As a result, increasingly popular, city-scale WiFi? networks can be used for video surveillance without being overloaded by video.

New York City Council Approves Public Broadband Commission

Many thanks to Council Member Gale A. Brewer for gaining approval of this important commission. NYCw looks forward to participating as a independent voice on broadband issues in NYC.

The New York City Council has moved one step closer to bringing more competition into the market for high-speed Internet access to city residents and businesses. On Wednesday, December 21, 2005, the Council voted to pass Intro 625-A, sponsored by Council Member Gale A. Brewer (D-Manhattan), the Chair of the Committee on Technology in Government. This piece of legislation passed the Committee on Technology in Government unanimously on Tuesday, December 20, 2005. Int. No. 625-A creates 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 commission 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.

The Coming Network Neutrality War

SBC fired the first shot. But Bell South has basically confirmed it was more then a misquote. Phone companies think they can control the Internet and select the content their paying customers get to see. “his company should be allowed to charge a rival voice-over-Internet firm so that its service can operate with the same quality as BellSouth’s offering.”

If you have not taken part in the the NYCwireless Network Neutrality Challenge please get involved NOW.

October – December 2005 Board Meeting Summary

A summary of partnerships and events, new projects, technology development and policy initiatives that have taken place in the past three months as reported at NYCwireless board meetings.

Partnerships and Events

On October 1-2, NYCwireless participated in the World Summit on Free Information Infrastructure, where Dana Spiegel and Laura Forlano presented on a community wireless panel. As a result, NYCwireless is working with Ile Sans Fil to develop WiFiDog captive-portal software, OPLAN Foundation on a community broadband survey and Open Planet on community engagement programs for municipal broadband projects

On November 28 from 9-10AM, NYCwireless held a live videoconference event between Tompkins Square Park and a park in Stockport, England as part of their “Broadband in the Park Day” in order to raise awareness of the benefits of community wireless projects. Laura Forlano took questions from public officials and community members in Stockport.

NYCwireless has spoken with representatives from BCT Partners, Earthlink, One Economy, Dunn Development, Mt. Hope Housing Company, Tropos on potential partnerships for future projects.

New Projects

NYCwireless is currently discussing plans for five new potential park projects with local businesses and community organizations.

NYCwireless is measuring the degree of interference its members are facing in their residential networks.

Technology Development

NYCwireless is rolling out its WiFiDog captive portal software among members, local businesses and community organizations. Members are invited to upgrade their access points to WiFiDog.

Policy Initiatives

NYCwireless has held ongoing meetings with local government officials, business leaders and activists on the possibility of organizing a conference on municipal wireless issues.

NYCwireless issued a Network Neutrality Broadband Challenge to Internet Service providers asking them to make a public statement supporting the network neutrality principles.

On November 18, Laura Forlano represented NYCwireless at the second meeting of the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee. NYCwireless is serving on the Rural and Under-served Communities and Advanced Technologies working groups of this committee.

On December 7, Dana Spiegel briefed the New York City Council in preparation for the 12/12 hearing on legislation to create a Broadband Advisory Committee for NYC government.

On December 12, Laura Forlano testified before the New York City Council in support of legislation to create a Broadband Advisory Committee for NYC government, which as passed into law on 12/21.

Testimony from December 12 New York City Council Hearing

NYCwireless’ testimony before the New York City Council’s Technology in Government Committee at December 12 hearing in support of Int. No. 625-A, a local law to establish a permanent broadband advisory committee in order to assess the feasibility of using municipal resources to facilitate universal access to broadband technologies and telecommunications and information services in New York.

Good afternoon. My name is Laura Forlano and I am pleased to be here today to testify before the New York City Council’s Technology in Government Committee on behalf of NYCwireless, a non-profit organization that advocates for and enables the growth of free, public wireless networks, in support of Int. No. 625-A, a local law to establish a permanent broadband advisory committee in order to assess the feasibility of using municipal resources to facilitate universal access to broadband technologies and telecommunications and information services in New York.

Over the past four years, NYCwireless has been active in the deployment of free, public wireless networks in over ten New York City parks and open spaces through partnerships with local parks organizations and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). NYCwireless has played an invaluable role in establishing the idea of public hotspots within public spaces within a City. Indeed, NYCwireless’ groundbreaking ideas and work first started this movement. By working in 2001 with local businesses, NYCwireless established Tompkins Square Park as the first Wireless Park in New York City. In 2002, NYCwireless brought this idea to the Bryant Park Conservancy, and was successful in creating the City’s and the Nation’s most visible and popular Wireless Park. We have also created community engagement programs that take advantage of wireless networks in Manhattan, such as our wireless arts festival, Spectropolis. NYCwireless is an all-volunteer organization with seven (7) board members, five (5) special interest working groups and approximately sixty (60) active members.

As a small non-profit organization that relies on volunteers to do its work, NYCwireless has confronted the difficulty of bringing wireless broadband projects to New Yorkers first-hand for a number of reasons. The technology itself is one of the simpler parts of the equation. Much more difficult are the identification of projects that address critical socio-economic problems and improve the lives of New Yorkers, the creation of an overarching vision for our projects and the development of a strategy to implement our vision using the latest technologies.

We believe that a similar challenge is facing the city of New York with regards to the future of broadband technology. Over the past two years, we have followed the Technology in Government Committee’s oversight hearings with great interest and believe that the establishment of a permanent broadband advisory committee is one positive step towards creating the necessary comprehensive vision and holistic strategy necessary for improving the socio-economic future of New York by using cutting-edge technologies and mobilizing community resources.

We believe that the advisory committee can play a leading role in increasing competition in the market for broadband provision and insuring the availability of affordable broadband options for small businesses, non-profit organizations and under-served areas. We believe that this problem can only be solved by the active involvement of municipal government in stimulating competition in telecommunication infrastructure. Competition can come in the form of municipally owned open access telecommunication infrastructure (such as the Philadelphia project), non-profit projects (such as NYCwireless, BIDs, parks organizations) or private sector initiatives.

With respect to the specifics of Int. No. 625-A, we would like to urge that “municipal resources” be interpreted broadly to include a wide range of the city’s resources such as physical assets (light poles, rooftops), financial assets, and, most importantly, human assets such as community and non-profit organizations. Community organizations such as NYCwireless can play an even greater role in improving New York’s socio-economic future from the bottom-up with the support of a clear vision, a comprehensive strategy and available municipal resources.

NYCwireless looks forward to working with the Technology in Government committee, city agencies, other non-profit organizations and the private sector in order to improve the lives of all New Yorkers using the best available technologies to address our city’s socio-economic needs and challenges. Thus, we urge that the City Council pass Int. No. 625-A to establish a permanent broadband advisory committee. Thank you very much.