Despite being, well, New York City, the city's broadband fortunes have been taking some major criticism of late
for being pathetic. Like so many broadband markets there's a duopoly logjam, with the residential market consisting of Time Warner Cable and a lot of Verizon DSL (FiOS if you can get it). Tech firms looking for ultra-quick enterprise-class have also addressed the lack of options. Hoping to apparently quell these concerns, the Bloomberg administration this week unveiled a new initiative
will improve the city's broadband fortunes.
According to Mayor Bloomberg's office, the new project involves a suite of initiatives including ConnectNYC -- a competition to build out fiber services for commercial buildings, a grading program for connectivity in New York City buildings, a crowd-sourced digital map highlighting wired buildings citywide, a streamlined process for broadband build regulations, and a competition to develop mobile applications to help residents access critical services provided by the City and community-based organizations.
Already in play was Verizon's promise to wire the entire city with FiOS by 2014 (something the telco can and will wiggle out of
), and a plan to have Time Warner Cable and Cablevision shell out $1.2 million and $600,000 annually to help bring fiber to buildings that need it through 2020. The result should be at least two ISPs per location, though the city's improvements may take a while.
Also, as with government-managed improvements on the federal level, there's really not much being done to help improve competition
-- meaning that the problems that plague duopoly markets (like ISPs winking and nodding at one another when it's time for a simultaneous rate hike) won't be changing much.