January 13 2021
“It’s taking method too lengthy to shut our digital divide. On a regular basis New Yorkers can not perceive how we’re nicely into the 21st century whereas nonetheless relying on 20th century infrastructure. Authorities has not exercised its full franchising and regulatory energy to ship on this most basic promise, and aspiring web suppliers haven’t sufficiently stepped as much as the plate to bridge communities which have been left behind. We should be clear that high-speed, high-quality broadband entry isn’t a luxurious good, however a necessity for distant studying, working from residence, and even getting an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Three months in the past, in response to startling revelations of our Metropolis’s failure to make sure each pupil can log into their school rooms and be taught, notably these in shelters and non permanent housing, I referred to as on our main know-how and web suppliers to go additional of their group advantages, together with free broadband and wi-fi service for all college students in want. I declared my intent to vote in opposition to any FCRC franchise renewal that lacked a agency timetable to shut the digital divide and dedication to better help for households struggling to hook up with distant studying. I communicated that intent in a subsequent letter to our present web franchisees, and that intent was repeated at a FCRC assembly a pair days in the past.
“Sadly, whereas a current settlement with Verizon led to an introduced growth of its broadband footprint, the second we face calls for that they, and all our potential franchisees, current a much more important build-out plan that has but to be put ahead. An actual restoration for our metropolis calls for larger requirements from all of us. Due to this, in addition to unresolved considerations for safeguarding the Public Entry programming of organizations like BRIC, BronxNet, and MNN, I can’t help this franchise renewal at the moment. I hope that this sends a transparent message on behalf of all New Yorkers who anticipate extra. It’s time for a real Common Web Assure.”