Tag Archives: Telecom

NYC Broadband Advisory Committee Public Hearing in Staten Island

Its been quite some time since the last Broadband Advisory Committee Meeting, but the final meeting, taking place in Staten Island, has finally been scheduled. We hope to see many of you on Thursday, March 5, 2009 from 11am-3pm @ CUNY College of Staten Island (Building 1P):

Broadband Committee holds Public Meeting on Staten Island’s Broadband Connectivity

WHO: New York City Council Member Gale A. Brewer, the Broadband Advisory Committee, Staten Island public school students, CUNY College of Staten Island professors and their classes, parents, nonprofit leaders, small business owners and senior centers
WHEN: Thursday, March 5, 2008, 11am-3pm
WHERE: CUNY College of Staten Island (Building 1P)
Recital Hall, The Center for the Arts
2800 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10314
BLOG: http://nycbroadband.blogspot.com/ 

Coming on the heels of successful public hearings in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens where hundreds of people attended, the New York City Broadband Advisory Committee will hear from policy experts, Staten Island residents and business people in a Public Meeting of the Broadband Advisory Committee in Staten Island. During this official hearing on the borough’s Broadband status, the City Council seeks to answer the following questions: How important is affordable Broadband to businesses and to under–served communities? How will high–speed Internet connections improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers and their families?

“New York is the most dynamic city in the world. But when it comes to the Internet, we’re working to catch up to other jurisdictions,” said Council Member Brewer, Chair of the New York City Council’s Committee on Technology in Government. Brewer sponsored Local Law 126, which created the NYC Broadband Advisory Committee. “I am excited to work with the Mayor’s Office in making New York a place where you don’t have to pay to go slow. We need affordable high–speed Internet connections to bring in jobs, help schools, and make the city safer.”

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project in May 2008 Survey, 32% of American households are still not using the Internet at all and “those with less education, those with lower household incomes, and Americans age 65 and older are less likely to have embraced broadband than those who are younger and have higher socio–economic status.” Seeking to address these same imbalances, Broadband Advisory Committee Chairperson, Shaun Belle, and CEO of Mount Hope Housing Company said, “Understanding the challenges to Broadband connectivity for the average New Yorker is a primary focus of the Broadband Advisory Committee; exploring and potentially implementing solutions to address these challenges will be the basis of our future planning.”

Andrew Rasiej, an Advisory Committee Member and the Founder of the Personal Democracy Forum and MOUSE said, “These hearings are critical to focusing broad political attention and building consensus for the need to guarantee all New Yorkers an opportunity to participate in the 21st Century economy.” As of February 2009, President Obama’s stimulus plan includes $7 billion in broadband infrastructure development to ensure the American economy is competitive in the long run.

The New York Broadband Advisory Committee was created by Local Law 126, a bill sponsored by Council Member Gale Brewer. The purpose of the Committee is to advise the Mayor and the City Council on how to bring affordable high–speed Internet connection to all New York City residents, nonprofit organizations and businesses. The public hearing in Staten Island is the final in a series of five being convened in every borough. The Committee will compile their recommendations to the Mayor at the conclusion of this hearing.


Council Member Gale A. Brewer, Chair, Manhattan, District 6
Council Member Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn, District 39
Council Member Letitia James, Brooklyn, District 35
Council Member Oliver Koppell, Bronx, District 11
Council Member James Sanders, Jr., Brooklyn, District 31


Mayoral Representatives

Shaun M. Belle — Broadband Advisory Committee Chair, President and CEO, Mount Hope Housing Company
Mitchel Ahlbaum — General Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Telecommunications Services, DoITT
Thomas A. Dunne — Vice President of Government Relations, Fordham University, Former Vice President of Public Affairs at Verizon
Avi Duvdevani — Chief Information Officer/Deputy General Manager, NYCHA
John J. Gilbert III — Executive Vice President/ Chief Operating Officer, Rudin Management Company
Howard Szarfarc — President, Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey
Anthony Townsend — Research Director, Institute for the Future

City Council Representatives

David Birdsell — Dean, Graduate School of Public Affairs, Baruch College, City University of New York
Neil Pariser — Senior Vice President, South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp.
Andrew Rasiej — Founder of MOUSE, Former candidate for Public Advocate of New York City
Jose Rodriguez — President and Founder, Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network
David Wicks — Founding Partner, Alwyn Group, Former Cablevision executive, Wall Street investment banker
Elisabeth Stock — President and Co–Founder, Computers for Youth
Nicholas Thompson — Senior Editor, WIRED Magazine

For more information or to testify please contact Kunal Malhotra with the Office of Council Member Gale A. Brewer at 212-788-6975 or Kunal.Malhotra@council.nyc.gov

CITI's 25th Anniversary Celebration Invite and Discount Code for NYCwireless Members

Eli Noam, the Director of the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) emailed me an invite to CITI’s 25th Anniversary Celebration and Conference. All NYCwireless members can attend this great celebration at a discount! We’ll be there, and hope you can be also.

See below for the invitation and discount code.

We would be pleased if the members of NYCwireless could attend a 25th anniversary celebration of Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI). CITI is a research center at Columbia Business School that has published over 70 books, written more than thousand articles, and hosted over 200 conferences, bringing together illustrious speakers and accomplished alumni to explore the wonderfully dynamic fields of Telecom and Electronic Mass Media.

Our 25th anniversary celebration will begin with a Gala Dinner on Thursday, October 30th. Speakers include Vint Cerf of Google, the man who is credited as being the “father” of the Internet. Also, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, who used to be on our board, and Washington’s foremost communications lawyer, Richard Wiley. The following day, Friday, October 31st, CITI will host a full day conference, The Next Generation of Communication: The Dawning of the Ultra-Broadband Era. This conference will explore the next generation of broadband– personal ultra-broadband (connections above 1Gbps, hundreds of times faster than most of today’s broadband) — and the vast changes in mass media, consumer electronics, and ICT that this technology will drive. (For more information on these events go to http://www4.gsb.columbia.edu/citi/events/summit2008)

As a token of our appreciation for your assistance in circulating this announcement, we would like to offer your members of a 10% discount off the regular admission price to the gala and conference. Please feel free to send the attached PDF as an email announcement to your associates and provide them with discount code NYCWLS10 so that they can get the discount when registering. Please use the following link to register eRSVP.

With Kind Regards,

Eli M. Noam
Professor of Finance and Economics
Director, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information

CITI 25th Anniversary Celebration and Conference Details (pdf)

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.

Broad Coalition Fights for Net Freedom

FreePress just launched the Save the Internet campaign and website, where you can find out more about the battle that is being fought to keep our internet freedoms (free as in unfettered access, not free as in no cost). I’d recommend that everyone read and contact their Senators and Representatives in order to make sure that telcos and cablecos don’t restrict our access to information.

Save the Internet

The SavetheInternet.com Coalition launches April 24 to urge Congress to take immediate steps to save the First Amendment of the Internet — a principle called “network neutrality” that ensures that the Web remains open to innovation and progress.

Congress is about to vote on a bill that would ruin network neutrality by letting big phone and cable companies set up toll booths along the information superhighway. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are spending tens of millions in Washington to kill any protection of the free and open Internet.

This bill would let these network giants become Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow — and which won’t load at all.

Only giant corporations will be able to afford to pay their toll for speedy delivery. The rest of us will be detoured to the “slow lane” — clicking furiously and waiting for our favorite sites to download. Coalition members are reaching out to millions of constituents in a broad campaign to tell Congress to save net neutrality now:


Our elected representatives are trading favors for campaign donations from phone and cable companies. They’re being wooed by people like AT&T’s CEO, who says “the Internet can’t be free” and wants his company to decide what you do, where you go and what you watch online.

The best ideas rarely come from those with the deepest pockets. If the phone and cable companies get their way, the open and free Internet could soon be fenced in by large corporations. If Congress turns the Internet over to AT&T, everyone will suffer.

The SavetheInternet.com Coalition was formed to prevent Internet gatekeepers from blocking or discriminating against new economic, political and social ideas. We are mobilizing millions of Americans to urge Congress to preserve the free and open Internet.

We must act now or lose the Internet as we know it.

NYCwireless Network Neutrality Broadband Challenge

In light of SBC CEO Edward Whitacre’s comments about charging websites a fee for providing services to SBC broadband customers, NYCwireless is launching the NYCwireless Network Neutrality Broadband Challenge.

NYCwireless is challenging every company that provides broadband services in NYC to make a public statement supporting the 4 Network Neutrality principles outlined below. We will keep a scorecard on the NYCwireless website showing which companies have shown a commitment to free trade and open access by embracing these principles.

Broadband Challenge
Broadband Challenge Scorecard

Every provider should include a web page with their public statement on their own websites. We suggest that the URL to find a provider’s stance on Network Neutrality be made available to the Internet community via the URL http://YourISPWebsite/neutral.html.