Tag Archives: Broadband

Event: How the Internet Works – and how to Protect Freedom Online

This is a great upcoming event, and NYCwireless will be there:

Voterbook Manhattan, the Media and Democracy Coalition, People’s Production House and Free Press invite you to a panel and town hall:

WHEN: Saturday, April 3, 2 p.m.
WHERE: P.S. 20, the Anna Silver School
166 Essex Street, Lower East Side

A town hall discussion and panel about Internet access, what it means in our community, the threats from big cable and phone companies to censor your speech online – and how you can fight back.

PANELISTS:
Kris Rios, media policy associate with People’s Production House
Tim Karr, campaign director with Free Press
Dr. Michael Livermore, director of the NYU School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity
… and more!

Free and open to all. We will be screening some of the People’s Production House documentary “The Internet is Serious Business,” taking questions, and having a lively discussion.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Jeff Kurzon at jeffkurzon@gmail.com, or Hannah Miller at hmiller@media-democracy.net or 215-888-8036.

We look forward to seeing you!

Community Broadband Hearing at Columbia University on Dec. 11

UPDATE: This is a Community Broadband Hearing by Columbia University, not an FCC Field Hearing. Sorry for the confusion!

Friend Bruce Lincoln, Entrepreneur in Residence at Columbia Engineering’s Center for Technology, Innovation & Community Engagement, sent us an invite for a Community Broadband Hearing taking place next Friday, December 11 at Columbia. I’m planning to attend, and suggest those of you that fill the different roles outlined below attend as well.

If you are planning on attending, leave a comment so we can find you!

It is important that members of the local community have an opportunity to participate in the National Broadband Planning process which is currently underway in Washington.

Toward that end, I invite you to participate in an FCC Field Hearing on Friday, December 11, 2009 at Columbia University in New York. The meeting will be held in Davis Auditorium from 8:45 am until noon.

The field hearing will bring together policymakers, elected officials, not-for-profit organizations, small businesses, anchor institutions, public agencies, broadband providers, foundations, community-based organizations and community leaders, academicians, and researchers. Together we will share thoughts on how collectively we can ensure all New Yorkers have access to broadband and the educational, economic and social opportunities it can provide.

I hope you will be able to attend as a representative of your organization or constituency. To fully understand the importance of broadband access from all points of view, your participation is vital. The agenda includes a “community visioning session” where you will have an opportunity to share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns with the group.

You can confirm your attendance via e-mail to bl2317@columbia.edu.

Agenda

Friday, December 11, 2009
Davis Auditorium, Columbia University
8 am-noon

8:00 Registration and Breakfast
8:45 Welcome (Bruce Lincoln, Columbia Engineering)
8:50 Opening Remarks (Dean, Feniosky Pena-Mora, Columbia Engineering)
9:00 “An Overview of the New York State Broadband Vision and Strategy” (Edward Reinfurt, Executive Director, New York State Foundation for Science, Technology and Innovation, NYSTAR)
9:30 “Vision of New York City’s Broadband Future” (Gale Brewer, Chair, Committee on Technology and Government, New York City Council)
9:40 Short Break
9:45 Practitioners Panel Session
10:15 Audience Q&A
10:30 Community Visioning Session
11:30 Wrap-up
12:00 Adjournment

Response to City Wireless Internet Access for New York City Parks and Other Open Spaces (DoITT RFI)

NYCwireless submitted this response to the DoITT RFI City Wireless Internet Access for New York City Parks and Other Open Spaces” (PIN: 85809RFI0045) [PDF].

Download PDF Version

RFI Response to City Wireless Internet Access for New York City Parks and Other Open Spaces

Prepared by:

Dana Spiegel, Executive Director, NYCwireless
Rob Kelley and Anthony Townsend, Executive Board Members

Overview

NYCwireless is a non-profit organization that advocates and enables the growth of free, public wireless internet access in New York City and surrounding areas. Founded in 2001, NYCwireless serves thousands of individuals throughout the New York City metro area through the dozens of hotspots installed in NYC Parks, Public Spaces, and Affordable Housing Buildings.

Over the past several years, NYCwireless has built free, public wireless networks in dozens of New York City parks and open spaces through partnerships with local organizations such as the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation and Madison Square Park Conservancy and business improvement districts such as the Alliance for Downtown New York. These include hotspots in Bryant Park, Madison Square Park, Wagner Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jackson Square Park, Stuyvesant Cove Park (the first fully solar powered hotspot in New York), Tompkins Square Park, Bowling Green Park, City Hall Park, the South Street Seaport, the Winter Garden, the Atrium at 60 Wall Street, Stone Street, Wall Street Park, and the Vietnam Veterans Plaza, among others.

NYCwireless also assists under-served communities in getting affordable internet access. NYCwireless works with Dunn Development Corporation and Community Access, a non-profit housing organization, to train volunteers and building residents to build and maintain wireless networks in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. The networks provide 8 buildings with more than 50 residents per building with private, high-speed wireless connections.

According to a survey by NYCwireless Board Member Laura Forlano, Wi-Fi is a factor in attracting people to specific locations throughout the city for 70% of those surveyed. These findings have potential implications for economic development and support the rationale that WiFi may enable commerce and productivity that would not have occurred otherwise. For example, one respondent commutes 20 minutes from Queens to use the Bryant Park wireless network on weekends in order to work on his food and wine website outside rather than at home.

At NYCwireless, we’ve worked with many local leaders. Some of them are BIDs like the Downtown Alliance or public benefit corporations like the Battery Park City Authority. Some are local developers, like the one we’re working with in the West Village who transformed a park and part of a neighborhood from being a place for homeless people to being a place for families and children. These local leaders have transformed their communities, and helped us bring internet to the people. Unfortunately so many more come to us with visions of helping out their neighborhood, but don’t have the funds to make it happen. While NYCwireless provides a very low cost option for building public Wi-Fi, its not without installation and maintenance cost. And many of the local leaders we’ve spoken to have no current means to get the funding they need to build and create local broadband. In speaking with them, we know that with just enough funding, these people too could change their communities, and bring whole neighborhoods online. Funding must be injected into local communities in order to provide resources for these leaders to do their work.
Continue reading Response to City Wireless Internet Access for New York City Parks and Other Open Spaces (DoITT RFI)

BBC Report: Broadband World: Mapping the global picture

The BBC has an excellent map that shows the disparities of broadband access speeds in 8 very different countries. Of particular interest is the exponential drop off between the few countries that have the fastest speeds and the rest of the countries in an OECD report. The US, which is in the middle of the pack, actually seems to be in the “long tail” of the list:

OECD Country Broadband Speeds

Australia announces National Broadband Network to bring 100mbps to most residents and businesses

This is the type of project that our broadband stimulus plan dollars should be used to create. In particular, the network will be created as a wholesale network, which means that all ISPs can take advantage of the fiber conduit, and should help to create a vibrant, competitive market for broadband down under.

(thanks to Dave Isenberg and Catherine Middleton for the pointer)

http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/media/media_releases/2009/022

New National Broadband Network
The Rudd [Australian federal] Government today announced the establishment of a new company to build and operate a new super fast National Broadband Network.

This new super fast National Broadband Network, built in partnership with private sector, will be the single largest nation building infrastructure project in Australian history.

This new National Broadband Network will:

  • Connect 90 percent of all Australian homes, schools and workplaces with broadband services with speeds up to 100 megabits per second—100 times faster than those currently used by many households and businesses
  • Connect all other premises in Australia with next generation wireless and satellite technologies that will deliver broadband speeds of 12 megabits per second
  • Directly support up to 25,000 local jobs every year, on average, over the 8 year life of the project.

SPECIFICATIONS

The new superfast network will:

  • connect homes, schools and workplaces with optical fibre (fibre to the premises or ‘FTTP’), providing broadband services to Australians in urban and regional towns with speeds of 100 megabits per second – 100 times faster than those currently used by most people—extending to towns with a population of around 1,000 or more people
  • use next generation wireless and satellite technologies that will be able to deliver 12 megabits per second or more to people living in more remote parts of rural Australia
  • provide fibre optic transmission links connecting cities, major regional centres and rural towns
  • be Australia’s first national wholesale-only, open access broadband network
  • be built and operated on a commercial basis by a company established at arm’s length from Government and involve private sector investment
  • be expected to be rolled-out, simultaneously, in metropolitan, regional, and rural areas.