Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

WIFI

WIFI

  • How Health Care, Tech, and the New Federal Infrastructure Law Must Connect

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    Getting health help through infrastructure (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    President Biden and Congress took a significant step in shoring up access to health care by enacting the infrastructure bill.

    The COVID-19 crisis shined a spotlight on broadband inequity and its impact on access to health-care services. While our country leapt forward on digital health, some of the neighborhoods and families who need it most were left out.

    In July 2020, EmblemHealth surveyed New Yorkers and found nearly one-third of Black-led and almost

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  • How Link5G will Address New York City’s Digital Equity Emergency

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    Rendering of proposed Link5G


    The digital divide has been one of the many disparities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. Countless New Yorkers have been forced to work and learn remotely, yet shifting to online platforms is very challenging for the 1.5 million New Yorkers — mainly low-income people of color — who lack access to both broadband and cellular internet.

    This is our digital equity emergency, and the Urban League is very focused on bringing attention to this critical issue. In March, the National Urban League released the ...

  • Want an Equitable Recovery? Take Big Steps Now to Close the Digital Divide

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    Kids with computers (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City’s public schools are welcoming back many middle and high school students this month, moving away from a turbulent era of distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. And while our young people are learning valuable lessons in school, we have all learned a lesson during social distancing: broadband internet is a basic necessity. 

    What once seemed like a luxury for downloading music or shopping, broadband internet access is now absolutely critical for work and

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  • Further Deregulation of 5G Technology Won’t Close the Digital Divide

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    Broadband for All (photo: Phillip Kamrass/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    Just before the new year, a representative of a little-known telecommunications infrastructure company, Crowne Castle, made the case in an op-ed at Gotham Gazette that the key to closing the digital divide in New York State is more deregulation.

    No one would disagree with the author’s assessment of the underlying problem: the pandemic confirmed, in

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  • It’s Time to Bridge New York’s Digital Divide — Here’s How

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    Getting students connected is one part (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor’s Office)


    Despite millions of dollars spent and a variety of initiatives undertaken, too many New Yorkers still lack reliable online access at a time when it is more important than ever.

    Reliable and fast connectivity is not a privilege, it’s essential. Without it, homes and businesses simply cannot succeed amid this public health crisis, which has forced many to live much of their lives virtually – from remote working and telehealth, to online learning, shopping, and

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  • A Universal Internet Guarantee to Bridge the Digital Divide for Every New Yorker

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    A plan for internet access at school and home (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The coronavirus pandemic has shown all of us the importance of a reliable high-speed home internet connection, whether for remote learning and working from home or for gathering virtually with loved ones. There is a common cliché that “the virus doesn’t discriminate,” but the reality is that coronavirus disproportionately harms low-income communities of color impacted by

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Maya Wiley Runs for Mayor

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    Maya Wiley on the train (photo: @mayawiley)


    December 16, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Maya Wiley Runs for Mayor

    Maya Wiley joined the show to discuss her candidacy for Mayor of New York City, including why she's running, what she means by "dignity," her ideas for job growth, her record on internet access, and her platform on school desegregation.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMaxand ...

  • In Fits and Starts, De Blasio Moves Toward Internet Goal Set in 2014

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    Mayor de Blasio's slow-moving internet promises (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    It took a global pandemic that brought the city to a grinding halt for Mayor Bill de Blasio to order that wi-fi be installed at every homeless shelter in the city housing children and to strike a deal to install high-speed broadband internet in every New York City Housing Authority public housing development.

    More than six years after the mayor promised to create high-speed broadband networks across the city, nearly 20% of New Yorkers still lack access to the internet at home or

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  • As De Blasio Promises WiFi in Shelters to Help Homeless Children Learn, Advocates Question Tardiness and Implementation

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    Remote learning in action (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Amid widespread criticism about a lack of internet access for students in homeless shelters who need to get online more than ever to complete their school work, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would equip every shelter with WiFi. But advocates are raising questions about execution of that pledge, especially as tens of thousands of students living in shelters need internet access now in order to engage in remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Despite de Blasio’s promise, issued

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  • Investing in 5G is Crucial for Ensuring High Quality Education for New York Students

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    technology in schools (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    21st century education requires 21st century innovation. If we want students to think critically and creatively to learn to solve problems and succeed in today’s modern world they also need and must have access to modern technology.

    A decade ago, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and internet access were just beginning to be introduced into schools and classrooms. Today, these tools are commonplace across New York and the nation, integrated into lesson plans and required for homework completion. And although

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  • Community WiFi is Already Here, Now It's Time to Expand It

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    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office )


    While politicians and industry focus on 5G wireless, the democratization of more common wireless technology has quietly made community-run wifi networks faster, better and cheaper than cable.

    Look for wifi anywhere in New York City and you’ll likely find dozens of locked networks, each of which represents (more or less) someone giving a giant consumer internet company like Verizon, Spectrum, or Optimum around a thousand dollars a year. For years, technologists have dreamed of replacing these individual networks with

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