Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Brooklyn Hearing - May 22

We have finalized the date, time and place for the Brooklyn hearing, the second step of our series of public hearings.

Tuesday, May 22nd from Noon to 3 pm
Where: Courtroom hearing room of Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon St, Downtown Brooklyn
Subway: Conveniently located next to the Borough Hall stop on the 2/3 and 4/5 lines; and within walking distance of the the Borough Hall stop on the A/C and F lines and the Court St. stop on the R and M lines

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Brooklyn Hearing flyer

Below is the flyer of the Brooklyn Hearing.
If you would like a copy, please feel free to let us know!

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Broadband Briefing Paper

A briefing paper providing general information on broadband in New York is available here.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

The Future of Digital New York City

Bruce Lai, Chief of Staff to Council Member gale A. Brewer published an article on "the Future of Digital New York City" in the Huffington Post.

Here is the link to the article.

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Broadband Advisory Committee Meeting 4/17/2007

The Broadband Advisory Committee held a meeting on April 17, 2007.

Here are the minutes:

"The following members of the Broadband Advisory Committee were present: Mitchel Ahlbaum, Shaun Belle, David Birdsell, Tom Dunne, Avi Duvdevani, Wendy Lader, Jose L. Rodriguez, Howard Szarfarc, Anthony Townsend, David Wicks.

Gale Brewer welcomed all of the attendees and briefly commented on the success of the Bronx public hearing.

Wendy Lader opened up requesting nominations for Chair of the Committee. Shaun Belle was nominated by Wendy, seconded by Tom Dunne. A vote was taken on the nomination, which was unanimously approved.

The next hearing is likely to take place on May 22, 2007 in Brooklyn Borough Hall. City Council staff will confirm this date soon with the members."

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A word from Shaun Belle

A word from Shaun Belle, Chair of the Committee:

"First, I am honored to be a member of the NYC Broadband Advisory Committee and to have been elected Committee Chair at the April 17,2007 meeting. I value the opportunity to work with City Council Member and Technology Chair, Gail Brewer and a committee comprised of prestigious leaders in the field of Broadband Technology, Education and Telecommunications.

The establishment of the Broadband Advisory Committee as provided by Local Law 126, will afford the committee an opportunity to engage the general public and citywide experts in exploring the status of the Broadband platform, its applications and users throughout New York City.

As Broadband Advisory Committee Chair, my commitment is to utilize the expertise of our committee members to advise the Mayor and City Council Speaker as to what options are available to New York City government and private sector as it seeks to develop a systematic approach to developing a citywide strategy to address the access to Broadband technologies . It is our intention to examine opportunities that will facilitate both broadband access and deployment as a platform to foster education, business development and e-community resources for New Yorkers and in particular those who have been historically impacted by the digital divide."

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"City Leaders Think NYC's Middle Class Is Screwed"

An article from Jen Chung in the Gothamist:

The Drum Major Institute released a study titled "Saving Our Middle Class", which suggests that NYC's middle class continues to be under more and more strain. DMI surveyed a number of city leaders and found:

- It's harder to enter the middle class: 92% "agree that it is harder to enter the middle class today than it was ten years ago."

- They believe middle-class income is now between $75,000 and $135,000 for families of four (it's between $45,000 and $90,000 for single individuals), while NYC median income is $49,374 a year.
- Essentials of middle-class standards of living include health insurance, owning a computer with internet access, holding a full-time job, and sending children to a quality public school.

- Only a third found that owning a house, condo or co-op is a middle-class essential.

- Affordable rent and health insurance are big challenges for the middle classn.

Take the Poll

And the results were released during the DMI's conference about the middle class yesterday. In what the NY Sun and NY Times both called a preview of the 2009 mayoral race, City Comptroller William Thompson, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion and Representative Anthony Weiner were present; City Councilman John Liu was also there (he wasn't mentioned in the Times). Wei! ner apparently sparred with both Liu and Carrion; Thompson wasn't on their panel, but he did mention the "barbell effect" - "low-income people and higher-income people expanding, and those in the middle being squeezed" (via the Times).

Baruch public-affairs professor Douglas Muzzio told the Sun the middle class "has to be" a major issue in the 2009 mayoral race.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Bronx Hearing - Testimonies

You will find below testimonies from the Bronx Hearing held on March 30.
Click on "Read More" to see each testimony.

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Kayza Kleinman
Director, Nonprofit Helpdesk
Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island

Good Morning

My name is Kayza Kleinman, and I am the director of the Nonprofit Helpdesk, which provides Technology and Fiscal Management services to nonprofit organizations throughout the city, including those in the Bronx. Our almost two decades in the field has given us a thorough insight into the needs of the organizations who serve the community.

In order to understand the need, it=s important to understand the community. In 2002, approximately 10 percent of all households in the Bronx consisted of seniors living alone. Over 20% of the population has some disability, this is a really significant number.

With over 64% of all households not having access to a car, and public transportation not being ideal, that translates to a very large number of people who are going to have trouble getting around - whether to a government office, a library, or to a job.

That undoubtedly is a real factor in some troubling statistics. Close to 18% of all female headed households with children under five lived under the poverty line. While 70% of the adult population without disabilities was employed, only 31.9% of those with disabilities was employed. Almost 69% of seniors live under the poverty line, and that does not even take into account the higher incidence of high medical related expenses incurred in that group.

(All numbers have been taken from the US Census Bureau=s American Community Survey for 2002)

The community, and the organizations that serve it, need every tool they can get in trying to deal with the problems presented by these realities. Stable, reliable, fast, affordable broadband connections are one such tool.


On an individual level, there are two major areas where broadband can be very valuable. Firstly, it makes tele-commuting, either part of the time, or even full time, a realistic possibility. It=s not hard to understand what this can mean to people with limited mobility, or for parents with few affordable child-care options. Keep in mind that if a parent needs to pay almost as much per hour for child care as she earns, working is not practical. But, if she only needs to do that for a small number of the hours she works, that can drastically change the situation. Similarly, if someone has other mobility issues, the trek to work would not be feasibly every day, but might be manageable once a week, making even a part time tele-commuting arrangement a viable option for many people who could not manage working full time at an employer=s location.

The second area that broadband could improve is access to information and services. While internet access cannot entirely replace the need for visits to government or CBO offices to gain access to services, being able to find out what services are available, what you need to do to apply, sometimes even to get the forms you need to fill out, and to find out who can give you the help you need to get those services can make all the difference in the world. This is true even for people with no major challenges. Think about what it means to someone with young children, and no childcare or someone who can=t get down the stairs to the local subway. But, it=s not just government services. IT=s medical information, safety information etc. And, it=s education, as well. A person who may not be able to travel to school for some reason could still get the education they need to move beyond the limited circumstances they find themselves in, and get a chance to move up.

On an organizational level, the issue of access to information and services is also crucial. Organizations need to be able to access information about a range of items - government grants, services available to their constituencies, information about regulations and legal issues affecting their constituents and themselves.

But, there is far more to be gained. The internet offers powerful tools for organizations in pursuing their goals - tool for advocacy, collaboration with others, outreach to their constituencies, and public education. But, mist are not realistically usable without broadband connections.

And then there is the issue of government and funder mandates. Many, many funders require the use, to some extent or other, of the internet as part of their reporting requirements. In most cases, these requirements mean that it is not possible to record services, or sometimes even fill out applications, unless a fast, stable internet connection is constantly available. I have seen first hand, how disruptive an internet outage can be to an organization that must process this kind of information on line. I have also seen, first hand, how cavalier some companies can be about such problems, with little concern for the hardships posed to their customers.

What it all comes down to is that broadband access is no longer a luxury. It has become an extremely important tool in the fight against poverty and hardship. Organizations and individuals need access to connections that are affordable, fast and reliable. While the City cannot wave a magic wand and make that happen, it is truly important that it use all the tools available to encourage the provision of such service, as well as a responsible attitude on the part of internet service providers.

Thank you

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Andrew Gallagher
Public school teacher from the Bronx

Good morning, my name is Andrew Gallagher and I am an Instructional Technology Coach at The Bronx Writing Academy. On behalf of the students and staff of our school, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today.

Our school was founded in 2004, with the aim of developing the literacy skills of our student community through a variety of educational opportunities. One proven strategy, is the effective use of technology in every subject area. In less than 3 years, we have moved from a school using minimal technology, with a faculty reluctant to integrate technology tools, and where the relevance of technology resources was undervalued, to a school working to fulfill the demands of an increasingly tech-savvy faculty, and “tech-hungry” student body. We have increased our technology equipment each year in an effort to meet these demands. We have been recognized, with several honors, for our after-school Technology program called MOUSE Squad. For those unfamiliar with MOUSE Squad, this is a program that provides students with leadership, technology, and soft skills such as teamwork, collaboration, project management, and communication, in order for them to provide technology support in their school. In June of 2006, we were awarded MOUSE Squad of the Year and, just six months ago, we had the privilege of welcoming Bronx Borough President, Mr. Carrion, to our school to receive a proclamation. The Borough President was able to see, first-hand, some amazing Internet resources being utilized. At the same time, he was able to speak to students and staff regarding the limitations we face each day, in terms of bringing these resources to our students. Access to a reliable, high-speed Internet connection, and the ability to maintain an outdated Internet infrastructure persists within our school, and similar schools throughout the Bronx. So again, we thank Mr. Carrion for the financial commitment he made to the Bronx Writing Academy.

Equitable access to the World Wide Web, and the wealth of information available through the Internet is, without doubt, one of the most significant issues facing our school system today. Nowhere is this more apparent than in under-served, underprivileged schools, such as The Bronx Writing Academy. Eighty percent of our students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, and the implications of this extend beyond the school, into the homes and living environments of each of those students. Interestingly, only 20% of our parents indicated their children have computer and Internet access at home.

BWA is fortunate to have collegial teams of highly dedicated, creative teachers, who continue to integrate technology tools into their curriculum, with the aim of providing authentic, relevant skills in all subject areas. On any given day, however, there is a very real sense of uncertainty in terms of whether the Internet and the resources they have spent so long collecting, will be available due to the adverse affects of our poor wireless Internet connection. The hard work, and increased interest our staff demonstrates, signifies how relevant they believe the use of technology is across the curriculum. The superb efforts of our MOUSE Squad students in supporting the use of Technology and maintaining or repairing equipment, indicates the high level of interest they have in technology. And, the creation of my own role demonstrates the commitment of our Principal and faculty, and what can be achieved in a relatively short period of time. As a result, we have exhibited continuous improvements in ELA and Math test scores, for three years in a row. In ELA, we have moved from 22% of students at proficiency level in 2004, to over 30% in 2006. Similarly, our Math scores indicate a 7 percent increase for the same period. In addition, we have reduced the number of students performing at the lowest levels in both ELA and Math (a 21.4% and 9.3% decrease respectively). This is, in no small part, due to the commitment of students and teachers alike to address differentiated instruction through the increased, effective use of technology tools.

We have made, and continue to make significant strides in terms of technology integration, yet there remains a great deal to achieve at the Bronx Writing Academy, and schools throughout our borough. In order to continue in the same vein, and provide the very best educational resources, it is absolutely necessary for our students and faculty to have access to a reliable, high-speed Internet connection. Within each classroom, at any point of the instructional day, there is a genuine concern our ideas will not be realized because the infrastructure cannot cope with more than 30 students accessing the same website at the same time.

Current, and future generations will require relevant 21st century ICT skills in order to enter a workforce increasingly driven by technology. The Internet, World Wide Web, and technology tools will continue to play a vital role in developing social skills, and very real understandings of the world beyond the Bronx, New York City, and the USA. To deny students opportunities to a reliable Internet connection, both in school and their home environments, is to deny opportunities to develop those skills necessary to succeed in any number of professions.

The emergence of new technology tools such as PodCasting, blogging, safe networking sites such as or e-Chalk, and the vast array of interactive online activities, increasingly demands the attention of both students and teachers as a way to enhance learning opportunities. The reasons for this are clear!

• The variety of online resources appeals to the multiple intelligences of our diverse student populations!
• Internet tools provide platforms for authentic and relevant Inquiry, Constructivist, Problem-based and Project-based learning.
• Students are provided opportunities to participate in learning beyond the textbook!
• Differentiated instruction becomes a tangible reality for teachers and students alike!
• The numerous possibilities to communicate with peers, contemporaries, and mentors throughout the world.
• The ability to produce publishable work available to a global audience becomes a reality!
• And, the Internet allows students to research and investigate beyond their immediate environment in order to return answers, data and information truly relevant to their lives.

All of these possibilities, however, will remain undiscovered if connection issues remain a low priority. It is inconceivable that textbooks, paper, pens, pencils, or worksheets would not be provided to students. All are, quite rightly, a necessity within any school environment. Yet, there remains a barrier, or reluctance, to accept that as part of our current, technology-driven world, Internet access is not viewed as an equally significant resource, relevant to each and every one of our students.

The Digital Divide continues to dominate the lives of students throughout the Bronx, but no longer is this divide solely centered on issues of purchasing equipment, or being able to afford working computers and software. There is now the added issue of access to the vast array of online resources, communication tools, interactive websites, and authoring tools available via the Internet. As educators, policy makers, budget controllers, and concerned citizens of New York City, we must support the notion that our student communities need to work in environments where high-speed Internet access is viewed as a truly vital element in their educational development.

If ever there is a doubt concerning the significance and relevance of Internet resources, and the high-speed connections needed to access them, please visit any classroom in any of our city schools. Speak to students about the possibilities they see through increased use of the Internet, and the disparity of availability they know exists between themselves, and those students in rural school districts.

Thank you again for your time, and for allowing me the opportunity to present a case for improving the Internet infrastructure of our city public schools. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have at this time.

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Angel Aracena
M.A., Director of Educational Technology for West Farms Technology & Career Center, Bronx

Aracena: Good afternoon members of the panel and Honorable NYC Council Members, my name is Angel Aracena, M.A., and I am here representing Phipps Community Development Corporation. I am the Director of Educational Technology at the West Farms Technology & Career Center.

My job is to ensure that the members of the Bronx community, where I am situated, have access to the Internet and computer classes such as Microsoft Office applications, Photoshop and other media software, Internet and e-mail training, and open lab access to our computers.

West Farms services 500 people a week through a variety of programs housed in the same building that include an Employment Program, an ESL & Literacy Program, and the Educational Technology Program. It is the dynamic interplay between these programs that sustains our center as a necessary community resource hub resulting in high retention rates of students and clients seeking computer and Internet training. Not only is the Educational Technology Program a stand-alone program that offers bilingual classes, it also supports and is responsible for integrating technology into our other programs.

The West Farms Technology & Career Center also has its own web site (, apart from Phipps Houses, our parent company, and is approaching 4000 visits a month. WFTCC has proven itself to be a valuable dynamic resource for the community it serves directly and for many people throughout the Bronx and New York City, for we also have students that commute from Queens, as deep as Bayside, and all parts of Manhattan to receive our free services. Phipps can continue to provide these services with the support of government grants and funds so that we may duplicate our proven model and most especially, improve our Internet and technology services and classes.

To cut short my testimony, I am also here to offer my recommendations when the city moves forward with accessible and affordable Broadband access for all of New York City. I think it’s a great idea to make Broadband Internet access affordable and more available. However, not only do our students stand to benefit greatly from such widespread availability of broadband, this access also presents dangers of which we hear of so often in the media in the form of tragedies. Broadband should be set up with safety parameters and to also include classes and training for parents and professionals on the dangers of the Internet. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that 1 in 7 young people are sexually solicited or approached online (Source). We must do more to ensure the safety of our city’s youth as we progress into a technological culture.

My last recommendation stems from my experience working at WFTCC. Childcare is an obstacle that prevents parents and single parents from taking advantage of community resources. If more childcare services were available to parents, the amount of people the West Farms Technology & Career Center could service would increase tremendously. Thank you.

Facilitator; David Birdsell: Thank you for your comments. Are there any questions for Mr. Aracena?

Hon. Brewer: Phipps Houses is a great organization and I commend the work that you’re doing. Could you please tell us what percentages of the people you serve have computers and Internet access at home and do you feel these services are necessary?

Aracena: Some 60% of our students and clients have computers but only 25% of them are able to pay for and sustain an Internet connection. For the students in our city and the parents that work hard for them, access to affordable Internet services is crucial for them.

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Seth Johnson
Coordinator, Dynamic Platform Standards Project

The problem of access to high speed Internet comes in large part from the fact that the incumbent phone and cable providers don't want to deliver the Internet at high speed.

The Internet, as defined by standards, is generic and flexible with respect to application development by end users. Nearly whatever pattern of communication I can create, it supports. It gives everybody that. It is at bottom a way of communicating that lets anybody who connects to innovate -- to turn their connection into a unique way of publishing, transferring or working with information between themselves and other users -- or to use applications other users on the Internet have developed to make one's connection do the unique things one wants to do.

Once they get connected -- and that's what you're addressing -- the fact that people have so far been able to expect uniform treatment of information flow comes from the Internet's fundamental design. It's not that everybody follows a policy of equality -- it comes from how transmissions were designed at the IP layer by consensus standards. In order to support all sorts of things that you could come up with, the Internet platform turns everything you do into little pieces and the pieces are sent independently from each other through whatever routers get them to where they need to go -- whether those routers are controlled by the incumbents or not -- so they can reach Internet-connected computers across the entire world. Then on the
other end you pull the pieces together and put them in the order and structure you want. This is the same technique of digitizing information into little pieces that your computer uses to support innovation. All the routers on the Internet get along by doing this. Please the materials on the Dynamic Platform Standards Project site, at, for more details.

This is the kind of connectivity that this committee needs to be sure to get access to. Providers can offer other things, but you need to make sure that Internet connectivity is the policy objective, and other things aren't allowed to be presented as if they are the same

The problem is that the incumbents have stated they don't want to do this. They want to be able to set different prices for different applications and services that they provide, and if they do this, shape transmissions according to their own applications, they will sacrifice the flexibility and genericity of the platform that everyone connected to the Net has available to them.

The incumbents will drag their heels until we tell them directly that the real Internet is what we want, not something else, like FiOS, just because they're giving us a little more speed.

You want to have signal delivered at the infrastructure level just as it is under common carriage; you don't want to allow the standards to be overridden by providers in a market position to offer something else and call that Internet access; and you want to let end users do
all the things they've become accustomed to being able to do above that.

Finally, I want to call your attention to the comments submitted by the New York Chapter of the Internet Society to the Federal Trade Commission's recent public workshop on "Broadband Connectivity Competition Policy" ( -- ISOC NY comment at, which alludes to some of these same points. I would recommend that the Internet Society and the Internet Engineering Task Force be a part of this committee. We won't be able to develop the kind of flexible standards that have given us the Internet and the World Wide Web, let alone assure the empowerment that access to the Internet can provide to all communities, unless we are specific about the nature and advantages of the current platform and about framing the policy issues this committee is addressing in those terms.

Thank you.

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Joshua Breitbart
Policy Director for People's Production House (PPH)

Good morning. My name is Joshua Breitbart. I am the Policy Director for People’s Production House (PPH). PPH trains middle and high school students in public schools and low-wage and immigrant workers from across the city to be radio journalists. That includes analyzing how the media works and learning how to change it.

I would like to thank you, the members of the Broadband Advisory Committee, for holding this public hearing. I would also like to thank Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Bronx Community College, and the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation for hosting this event, and Council Member Gale Brewer for her work initiating this process.

PPH and its partners have a stake in this discussion because the Internet is the most promising outlet to distribute the kind of immediate, hyper-local content our partners produce. Licensed space on the radio dial is limited, especially in this town. Television also has a high barrier to entry. Newspapers are more open, but they aren’t so good for audio recordings.

The Internet is an accessible, two-way, multi-format medium. At least it could be accessible, which is why I say it’s “promising.” A lot of the people we work with don’t have the kind of meaningful access to the Internet that would allow them to make and distribute their own content and to receive the content of their peers. We would like you to help us do something about that.

I don’t know as much about broadband in New York City as you all do, but in some circles I am considered a knowledgeable person about these issues. I write for a think tank and an industry publication. I’ve testified before a city council, spoken to the media, and given presentations at conferences. I am a principal in a small consultancy. But I’m not going to tell you what I think meaningful broadband infrastructure looks like for New York City.

The most important thing I’ve learned about municipal broadband as I’ve observed and analyzed the processes in Philadelphia, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Boston, and elsewhere is that there is no cookie-cutter solution, no easy answer. The critical thing to finding the right solution is having the right process of working towards that solution.

Here are the keys, as I’ve come to understand them, to a healthy process, one that minimizes conflicts and leads to solid results:

• Sustain open participation beyond the initial public hearing stage, through the entire process and continuing even a solution is implemented.

• Promote horizontal relationships among stakeholders rather than hub-and-spoke relationships that all connect to this committee or to any one person or organization.

• Unite stakeholders around shared technology rather than dividing them into tiers.

• Incorporate existing human resources wherever possible to avoid redundancy and to build on existing relationships.

• Be open with whatever information you gather: publish documents, test results, and regular updates on an accessible website and make them readily available to people without Internet access.

The fact is, the people that have the most at stake in this discussion are not folks like me, white dudes with laptops and DSL connections at home. It’s the folks who have no access, or very limited access to the Internet. People’s Production House has a corps of eager reporters ready to work with you to engage that constituency.

This hearing is a great first step in that direction. It’s the first time that I know of that the general public of New York City has been invited to dream about what broadband might look like in our city. I am excited to see where this takes us.

In closing, again, I would like to thank all of the members of this Committee for your time and energy and for your commitment to New York’s communications future.

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Gary Axelbank
Director of Public Relations at Monroe College

Thank you for this opportunity. For more than seventy years Monroe College has been providing educational opportunities leading to meaningful careers for students in a wide variety of academic areas. While most recently we’ve expanded our Associate and Bachelor’s degree programs to include Criminal Justice and Hospitality and the Culinary Arts, as well as a Masters program in Business, on our campuses in the Fordham section of the Bronx and in New Rochelle, our School of Information Technology has been a staple of our offerings for generations.

Maybe in the past students could be successful without access to the latest technology. But we recognize that in the modern world access to technology can no longer be optional. It is a hard and fast requirement for anyone seeking upward mobility. This is true in our classrooms and labs and also for our students in their homes, neighborhoods, and even the businesses they frequent.

Because Monroe President Stephen Jerome recognizes that we are part of the community we serve, we are doing what we can to provide not only quality technology education leading to degrees and careers, but also a service to the community at large to help them get, in plain language, on the air with wireless technology.

I’d like to point out a couple of people to you. First, please recognize Dana Spiegel of NYC Wireless. Also, I’d like you to recognize Professor John McMullen. Professor McMullen has made it a required part of his Wireless Technology course that students undertake a project of wiring up a park, business, or other organization. They work in conjunction with NYCwireless and all wireless technology provided by these installations is free to the businesses and to the general public.

Since last spring the list of who they’ve gotten on line is long, but I’ll give you some samples, Professor McMullen’s students have wired:
- Stuyvesant Park in lower Manhattan, which was the first solar powered access in NYC,
- Java's Brewin' in Harlem,
- Coogan’s Restaurant, on Broadway at 169th Street in Manhattan
- Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Madison Square Park
- a Subway Restaurant in the Fordham section of the Bronx
- The City Line Diner in Woodlawn
- And the G Bakery in New Rochelle.
They’re also working with the Jerome/Gun Hill BID to get some of those Bronx businesses on the air.

So Monroe College encourages an aggressive approach to getting all of New York up to speed with the latest technology and we’re prepared to do our part.

If anyone is interested in having their business, not-for-profit organization, or other locale brought up to speed with wireless internet technology, please see me or Professor McMullen before you leave today. We have some fliers and other information which we’ll be happy to give you. Thank you for your time.

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Sunday, April 1, 2007

March 30, Bronx Hearing - Thank you !

On March 30, at Bronx Community College, the New York City Broadband Advisory Committee held its first-ever public hearing. Over 200 people attended and approximately 30 people --Bronx residents, both young and old, business owners, and non-profit leaders-- testified on the importance of inexpensive and reliable access to broadband. We'd like to thank you all for participating in this great event.

Read more!

Audio of the Bronx Hearing

Audio of the Bronx Hearing available here.
3-min report from Kat Aaron of WBAI's Wakeup Call available here.
Press release available here:

On March 30, at Bronx Community College, the New York City Broadband Advisory Committee held its first-ever public hearing. Over 200 people attended and approximately 30 people --Bronx residents, both young and old, business owners, and non-profit leaders-- testified on the importance of inexpensive and reliable access to broadband. We'd like to thank you all for participating in this great event.

Council Member Brewer, the Chair of New York City Council’s Committee on Technology in Government, talked about need for affordable access to broadband in order to improve quality of life of – and economic opportunities for – all New Yorkers.

“New York is the most dynamic city in the world. But when it comes to the Internet, we’re stuck in the dial-up age,” said Council Member Brewer. “I want to figure out ways to change that and to use broadband to bring in jobs, help schools, and make the city safer. There are over 1.1 million schoolchildren in New York City public schools. Shouldn’t they all have access to the vast information resources of the Internet in the home as well?”

Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Jr. spoke about the importance of universal access to broadband to keeping New York City ahead of its competitors in the global world economy.

"For New York to remain competitive in the global market place, we must ensure that every New Yorker is given access to high-speed and reliable Internet connections," stated Bronx Borough President Carrión.

“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,” said Andrew Rasiej, an Advisory Committee Member and the Founder of the Personal Democracy Forum and MOUSE.

Statements of support were submitted by US Senator Hillary Clinton, US Senator Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the New York City Council, Christine Quinn, and Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps.

“Today, one of the greatest catalysts for fostering economic opportunity and opening up new worlds to young and old is access to the Internet. For many people, especially those in underserved communities, the digital divide has not been closed. In order for people to realize the benefits of this technology for education, employment, and training, they must have the infrastructure in place. We must help bring the power of technology into people’s lives, especially in underserved areas like the Bronx, with the hope that every family can have the tools for success in today’s technology-rich economy,” said Senator Clinton.

“In a world that is increasingly reliant on high-speed, easily accessible Internet, not having high-speed Internet access is like not having air to breathe," said Senator Charles Schumer. "Broadband technology is the lifeblood of the new economy, and to keep New York City at the forefront of the 21st century global market, it is vital that residents, businesses and visitors in the city have access to high-speed, quality, universal Internet to connect them wherever they may be.”

Speaker Quinn said, "The Digital Divide is a serious issue facing our society, so I applaud the attention Council Member Brewer has brought to this issue. Here in New York City, many underserved communities won't survive in this new Information Age without the technical knowledge many of us take for granted. The bottom line is we need to use out-of-the box-thinking to ensure that today's technology is used to improve the future of New Yorkers. This Broadband Advisory Committee hearing, and the ones to follow in the coming weeks, is the first major step toward truly bridging the technology gap."

Federal Communications Commissioner Michael J. Copps expressed his support of the Advisory Committee’s work. “This must be a high national priority if our communities and our country are going to be competitive and successful in the 21st century,” wrote Commissioner Copps.

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Video of the Bronx Hearing

Available here:





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Broadband Briefing Paper

Below is a briefing paper has been prepared for the Bronx Hearing. In it, you will find general information on broadband in New York. What is it? What can it be used for? Where is it available?


Broadband technology has made the world ‘flat’ so that, in a growing number of places, anyone with a laptop computer and a broadband connection can now compete in the global economy. Many countries have implemented policies on the local and federal levels to quickly expand broadband availability and adoption rates as well as encourage the development of higher-speed services. However, the United States (U.S.) is falling behind primarily due to the government’s failure to implement policies that promote competition in the areas of affordable access and quality of service. The U.S. dropped in ranking of broadband penetration from being 4th in the world in 2002 to 16th in 2006. The situation in New York City is a microcosm of this problem. The City is one of the most wired cities in the United States, but we are falling behind our international competitors. While the majority of businesses located in Manhattan enjoy multiple options for broadband, many of the businesses around the five boroughs have limited options for obtaining broadband and often find it impossible to access a reliable high-speed connection at all. Most residents have only one or two service providers from which to choose, and many are unable to afford the service. Without broadband and the newest communication technologies, residents are at an immediate disadvantage in this information-based global economy.

1.0 What is broadband? Is it important?

Broadband stands for Broadband Internet Access, which is a high-speed connection to the Internet. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines broadband service as “data transmission speeds exceeding 200 kilobits per second (Kbps), or 200,000 bits per second, in at least one direction: downstream (from the Internet to the user’s computer) or upstream (from the user’s computer to the Internet).” However, the FCC's definition of broadband is much slower than average broadband speeds of DSL and cable modem and many feel it should be revised upward to reflect this reality. Broadband’s high-speed Internet connection is progressively replacing old dial-up Internet connections, and allows users to access new services in line with modern technology improvements. This kind of connection permits consumers to access comprehensive databases, communicate through phone and videoconferencing, and download music, movies and television, all through a computer. Broadband connections also allow people to view streaming media at speeds closer to what might be associated with television because transfer speeds for broadband are up to 50 times faster than dial-up modems. According to a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life project, in 2005, 68% of American adults, or about 137 million people, used the Internet and fifty-three percent of these Internet users had a high-speed connection at home, which is up from 21% of users in 2002. The study also showed that 22% of American adults were offline, 40% were dial-up users, intermittent users, or non-users who live with an Internet user, and 33% of Americans were broadband users. In addition, a U.S. Department of Commerce report stated that while the number of households with Internet connections grew by 6.9 million between 2001 and 2003, the percentage of households with high-speed Internet or broadband connections more than doubled in households during the same time.

In many parts of the world and the U.S., broadband is increasingly viewed as a necessity, just like electricity, clean water, and telephone service, because it is a powerful tool that increases one’s quality of life and improves economic opportunities. Broadband connections can be delivered through various technologies, including standard telephone lines, cable, digital subscriber line (DSL), satellite, fiber, or wireless technologies.

2.0 What is broadband used for? Who uses broadband?

2.1. Broadband spurs economic growth

In 2001, a study by the Yankee Group predicted a $223 billion cost saving with universally available broadband in the United States, while an August 2002 study by Dataquest estimated that the implementation of ‘true’ broadband infrastructure could result in an incremental increase in U.S. gross domestic product by as much as $500 billion annually for the next 10 years. Given how recently broadband has been adopted, there has been little new empirical research on the economic impact of broadband. However, in 2006, the U.S. Department of Commerce released a report measuring the economic effects of already-deployed broadband technologies and addressing the question of future impacts. The Department concluded that “broadband access does enhance economic growth and performance, and that the assumed economic impacts of broadband are real and measurable.” In addition, a 2005 Applied Economic study showed that Lake County, Florida “experienced approximately 100% greater growth in economic activity relative to comparable Florida counties since making its municipal broadband network generally available to businesses in the county.”

More importantly, however, broadband helps build the capacity of entire communities – cities, counties, states, and countries – to compete withother communities and countries in the global information economy and around the world. A strong technology infrastructure is crucial for attracting businesses and highly educated, creative professionals who help drive economic growth.

2.2 Broadband uses for the community and individuals

2.2.1 Broadband is the gateway to the Internet and the newest communications technologies
Broadband enables individuals to take advantage of the Internet, which is quickly becoming the primary source of information for everything from text and sound to image and video. Additionally, broadband gives people the ability to use the newest, most advanced (and usually cheaper) communications technologies, such as VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), video telephone, and IPTV (Internet Protocol Television).

2.2.2 Broadband helps children learn and teachers teach
Access to broadband helps children learn in school as well as after school, allowing for ‘learning moments’ to occur at any time. Studies have shown that access to a computer, in combination with broadband access in the school, can improve children’s engagement in the classroom, increase their personal productivity, and improve their attitude toward writing.

2.2.3 Broadband helps people find employment
More and more, the Internet is becoming the place where employers post job opportunities that are not available through word of mouth or in-person community networks. Of the 92% of Fortune 500 companies that used corporate websites for active job recruitment in 2003, one- third did not give job seekers the option of applying for jobs offline.

2.2.4 Broadband enables e-government and e-democracy
With ubiquitous broadband access, broadband allows all New York City residents to take advantage of more governmental services that are becoming accessible through the Internet, saving residents time and money, and reducing the cost of government services. Also, high-speed Internet access allows people to participate in the democratic process much more easily by making it easier to donate campaign money online, communicating and collaborating with others who share their political views, or by sharing their thoughts with elected officials.

2.2.5 Broadband improves everyone’s quality of life
Broadband saves its us time and money by giving us the ability to bank online, shop online, and find information on just about anything online. Because of this, as of March 2006, 84 million Americans had broadband at home, which is a 40% jump from March 2005.

According to a recent survey by the Pew Internet & American Life project:
• 40 million Americans rely on the Internet as their primary source for news and information about science.
• 92% of respondents qualify the Internet as a good place to get everyday information.
• 85% of respondents say the Internet is a good way to communicate or interact with others.
• 61% of Internet users between 18 and 29 have looked for jobs online, while 42% of those ages 30-49 looked online for jobs.
• 69% think the Internet is a good entertainment resource in everyday life.

2.2.6 Universal access helps level the socio-economic playing field
Universal access to technology narrows the digital divide between high- and low-income residents and can help level the socio-economic playing field. Disadvantaged young people who gain technological literacy through meaningful access to the Internet are better equipped to compete in today’s job market.

2.3. Broadband helps businesses and nonprofits grow

The enormous investment in broadband technology during the bubble, combined with the commoditization of computers, computing power that continues to grow exponentially, and the development of robust software to help computers and people communicate and share information, it is now possible to work from virtually anywhere. Broadband is now at or near the top of ‘must-haves’ for most businesses.

Broadband enables all businesses—for-profit and non-profit—to develop and grow while at the same time becoming more efficient and cutting costs. Businesses become more productive because they can communicate and share files quickly and easily with partners and customers via e-mail and the Web. Broadband helps businesses save on communication costs through the use of VoIP; they can use video-conferencing capabilities and save travel expense; they save on rent through telecommuting programs. Finally, broadband enables businesses to improve their marketing efforts, as companies can reach a larger pool of customers, especially those located in other parts of the U.S. and in other countries.

For nonprofit organizations that provide direct social services, broadband enables them to take advantage of technologies that reduce the time and money spent on administrative tasks, thus freeing up the organization to spend more resources delivering services. Broadband also increases service providers’ ability to share information about their clients, and increases their ability to deliver the right service at the right time to the right person.

3.0 Broadband technologies and speed

Broadband Internet really makes a difference when downloading or uploading heavy documents such as music or movies. With an old dial-up connection, it would take several minutes to take a few seconds.

Modern use of Internet is also about communication: VoIP (Voice Over InternetProtocol), video telephone, and IPTV (Internet Protocol Television). These new technologies make it possible to have a conversation with anyone from anywhere on this planet. Industry experts predict that within a few years, homes will need vastly more bandwidth capacity than is currently available. A recent study by Jupiter Research concluded that by 2009 the average household will need 57–72 megabits per second (Mbps) of bandwidth and ‘tech savvy’ households will require 100 Mbps. Much of this bandwidth will support in-home wireless applications, as well as high-definition television and other bandwidth-rich applications.

4.0 Affordability of broadband

In the U.S. Department of Commerce’s 2004 report, A Nation Online, 38.9% of non-Internet users, or Internet users with only dial-up access, say the main reason why they have not adopted broadband is because it is “too expensive”. Assuming the monthly broadband service fee is $50 a month, over the course of a three-year period, broadband costs at least $1,800—an amount approximately equal to or more than the cost of purchasing and using a computer for three years. According to a study by MuniWireless, there seems to be a gap in Internet access between income levels with “approximately one out of 10 households with incomes below $30,000 reported having high-speed Internet access” compared to six out of ten households with income over $100,000 having Internet access.

5.0 The US is lagging behind

According to the OECD, the U.S. broadband penetration ranking dropped from 4th in 2002 to 12th in 2006, with 19.2 connections per 100 inhabitants. By comparison, Denmark leads the world with 29.3 connections per 100 inhabitants. With such a low penetration ranking, the United States is far behind countries such as the United Kingdom (U.K.) and Iceland, which have made rapid progress in broadband adoption.

The average ADSL connection in the U.S. offers download speeds between 1.5 Mbps and 3 Mbps, and upload speeds between 512 and 900 kilobits per second (Kbps), just enough for streaming video, not for standard or High definition TV. The average cable modem connection provides download speeds between 3 and 10 Mbps, with upload speeds varying between 384 and 1000 Kbps. These connections cost consumers $35 to $45 per month on average.

By comparison, Japanese and Korean consumers have access to broadband connections with speeds up to 100 Mbps, and prices are much lower (average of $35/month). In the U.K., a 24 Mbps connection costs about $50 per month. Additionally, since April 2005, some households in Hong Kong now have access to 1 Gbps connections.

6.0 National perspective

Spending on U.S. citywide wireless networks reached $235 million in 2006 and this number is predicted to almost double in 2007 with $459.6 million in spending. This rise is due to a large push in adoption rates of municipal networks by large cities and counties. In 2005, Philadelphia was the only major city working on implementing a municipal network yet, only a year later this number rose dramatically with large cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston pursuing wireless programs. The number one use among large and small cities and counties for these municipal networks is for public safety applications with building inspection and public works coming in second. An example of this public safety aspect is New York City’s selection of the Northrop Grumman Corporation to create a Citywide Mobile Wireless Network for the City’s first responders and other city agencies.

Citywide networks are also being used and paid for in many different ways by constituents. About 48% of networks are free to residents while 46% can be accessed by local businesses for a fee. In some cases the free access is provided at low bandwidths with high bandwidth being accessible for a low rate. Large cities usually provide their networks to constituents in a few ways with different fees types. With costs in mind, ownership of municipal networks has also become a topic of much debate. There has been a significant push in the direction of third party ownership and operation of networks, especially in large cities, with 56% having or expected to have this model of management while smaller municipalities continue to operate their own network. U.S municipal networks today span an average of 39 square miles but this number is expected to rise in the next few years. In addition, network deployment has had a variety of challenges that cities need to overcome. The top challenges for cities consist of performance concerns, topographic problems, political challenges by incumbent service providers, and security concerns.

6.1 U.S. Broadband Initiatives

The following is a list of broadband developments currently underway in the U.S.

Philadelphia, PA – Philadelphia selected EarthLink to build, operate and maintain its citywide wireless network, Wireless Philadelphia. The network is now being tested across the city and is scheduled for full completion by late fall 2007. Wireless transmitters called routers, which use about as much electricity as a 60-watt light bulb, have been installed on light poles and other tall structures throughout the test zone. The full deployment will include subscriptions for wireless high-speed broadband internet service for homes and businesses, roaming capability for outdoor use throughout the city, and free access to "wireless hot spots" covering a total of 10 square miles of public parks throughout the City. In addition, Wireless Philadelphia willallocate discounted accounts to low-income households, also is known as Digital Inclusion. With EarthLink rates ranging from $9.95 to $21.95, the network is expected to generate over $10 million for citizens and create 6,000 new jobs.

Boston, MA – Mayor Thomas M. Menino formed a WiFi Task Force in February 2006 to explore wireless possibilities for Boston. The task force included three local technology experts that were appointed as co-chairs by Menino, and 19 representatives from the business, academic, and wireless communities, as well as members of city government. In July 2006, the task force delivered a 56-page report detailing their research and recommendations. The report recommended that the city identify and partner with a private nonprofit corporation that will be entrusted with the funding, construction, and operation of a carrier neutral wireless network. In March 2007, the Boston Wireless Initiative created, a private, non-profit corporation that will develop, implement and operate a network to provide affordable wireless internet access throughout the City of Boston. The first pilot project will be deployed soon and will cover approximately one square mile.

Los Angeles, CA – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa outlined plans in February 2007 to blanket Los Angeles with wireless Internet access by 2009, in what would be one of the nation's largest urban Wi-Fi networks. The initiative, that will provide Internet services to the city's four million residents, will cost around 60 million dollars and would be funded by advertisers and telecommunication providers. The City wants to create a public-private partnership and will start seeking bids in the fall. The City is also forming a working group and will hire an expert to help with the details of the project. The winning bidder will pay for the installation and the city will donate space for antennas on city buildings, light poles and other structures.

Chicago, IL –Chicago released a draft Wireless Broadband RFP for comments in May 2006 and released the final RFP in September 2006. The City hopes to provide universal and affordable high-speed Internet access for all Chicago residents, businesses and visitors to the city, with special attention to low-income populations. The city is looking to create a public-private partnership model in which the city will spend no money except providing access to its street light poles, traffic signal poles and other infrastructure on a non-exclusive basis. The winner of the bid must finance, own, maintain, and operate the network while providing access to the network on a wholesale basis.

San Francisco, CA – In April 2006, San Francisco selected a joint bid by EarthLink and Google to provide San Francisco with a wireless citywide network. According to the selection, Google will manage the free 300 Kbps Wi-Fi service, while EarthLink will offer the faster premium service of 1Mbps for up to $20 a month. The free service will be supported by advertisements appearing on computer or laptop screens logged onto the network. In January 2007, an agreeement was finally reached between the two companies and the city yet, before the building of the network can begin, the city Board of Supervisors needs to approve the contract.

Atlanta, GA – The City of Atlanta created the Wireless Atlanta initiative in order to provide wireless Internet access throughout the City through a public/private partnership. The City released a RFP in June 2006 and expects that network deployment could begin as early as the spring of 2007. Wireless Atlanta will be funded by a private service provider and will offer wholesale services to other providers at a competitive rate.

Houston, TX – In October 2005, Mayor Bill White of the City of Houston announced an initiative to make wireless broadband services available throughout the City. The City released a RFP in March 2006 and then selected EarthLink in February 2007 to provide a wireless network that will cover 600 square miles and will be completed by June 2009. With 15,000+ nodes expected to be installed, the network will be open for purchase to other Internet service providers at wholesale rates that cannot exceed $12 per month for the first seven years. Under the deal, EarthLink will invest $40 to $50 million in the network and pay a leasing fee to use city property such as light poles. EarthLink will charge $4 per month to low-income families and pay the city 3% of all subscriber gross revenue on an annual basis. In addition, the city will pay the network provider at least $500,000 per year. In February 2007, the Houston City Council approved the contract with Earthlink.

Mountain View, CA – Google created a free city-wide wireless network in Mountain View, California in August 2006. The network, which covers 12-square miles and almost 72,000 residents, includes 380 access points throughout the city and offers 1Mbps of bandwidth. While Google did not charge the city anything for building the network, the company also covers the maintenance and utility costs itself. In addition, the city stands to receive payments from Google for the placement of equipment on city-owned light poles.

Silicon Valley, CA – Silicon Valley Metro Connect, a group comprised of IBM, Cisco, SeaKay, and Azulstar, announced in September 2006 that they would be providing free wireless broadband throughout 42 cities in the Silicon Valley area. The network, a combination of Wi-Fi and WiMAX , will span 1,500 square miles. There will also be six tiers of service including two free tiers, the first of which will be limited with download speeds of 256 kilobits per second and upload speeds of 60 kilobits per second. The second free tier, called "Kids," will be used by children and will only offer secure filtered content. Advertising will heavily support these free models. The other levels will have anywhere from 400 to 1,000 kilobits per second and cost between $14.95 and $59.95 per month.

Minneapolis, MN – The City of Minneapolis selected US Internet in September 2006, to build and operate a 60-square-mile broadband wireless network. The project, which is expected to take up to a year to build, will provide residents with Internet access from 1 to 3 Mbps download and upload speeds for $19.99 a month with this price capped for ten years. Business customers will receive the same access for $29.99/mo while City government workers will only pay $11.99/mo. The City has agreed to pay US Internet $2.2 million up front and $1.25 million a year so that City services, like police and fire, can become anchor tenants.

Suffolk and Nassau, NY – Suffolk and Nassau counties in Long Island, N.Y. issued a joint RFP in January 2007 in order to find a private partner or consortium to build, own, and operate an outdoor wireless network that will cover approximately 750 square miles and 2.7 million residents, making this network one of the largest of its kind in the US. The counties are willing to become anchor tenants on the network and pay for services and access to wireless Internet for the schools.

California – In October 2006, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order to create a broadband task force that lets experts from government and businesses work together to identify and eliminate obstacles to making broadband internet access ubiquitous in the state. The task force will also recommend additional steps the Governor can take to promote broadband access and usage.

New York – Governor Spitzer announced in his State of the State speech in January 2007 that, in order to close the digital divide, the state must implement a Universal Broadband Initiative to ensure that every New Yorker has access to affordable, high-speed broadband.

7.0 New York City initiatives

On February 9, 2004, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) issued a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) to award non-exclusive franchises for the installation of mobile telecommunication equipment and facilities, on City-owned lightpoles. The RFP permits the placement of small, lightweight, mobile telecommunications reception/transmission equipment such as microcell antennas and other types of transceivers and similar equipment, on City-owned street light poles, traffic light poles, and/or highway sign support poles. DoITT received 9 proposals and granted 6 franchises in July 2004.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation released a RFP on June 14, 2006, for a Broadband Feasibility Study to “deliver a thorough, objective, fact-based feasibility study of the current state of broadband in New York City and to explore whether there is a need for a citywide broadband network as a municipal initiative and whether such would be legally, technically, practicably and economically feasible for New York City.” In September, the City selected, through a competitive bidding process, a private firm named Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, to conduct the study.

On September 12, 2006, Mayor Bloomberg and the Commissioner of DoITT, Paul Cosgrave, announced the selection of the Northrop Grumman Corporation to create a Citywide Mobile Wireless Network (CMWN) for New York City first responders and other city agencies. The city of New York, acting by and through DoITT and Northrop Grumman have entered into a $500 million contract to build and maintain the CMWN. This contract has been described as “the most aggressive commitment by any municipality to provide a next-generation public safety network.” The CMWN will give first responders from the NYPD and the FDNY rapid access to extensive data, including federal and state anti-crime and anti-terrorism databases, mug shots, and live video streams.

8.0 Ambitious government policies throughout the world

8.1 Europe

Since 2000, the European Union has been committed to the goal of bringing broadband to its population. European countries have instituted open-access policies for their broadband networks in which governments require national telephone and cable TV companies to allow competing companies to provide service over their broadband networks. This has produced fierce competition in the broadband markets where telecommunications providers compete on speed, quality, and price, not on who controls the physical broadband network. The consequences of these open-access policies have been near universal broadband access, high broadband penetration rates, a wide range of broadband services and applications, faster broadband speeds, and lower broadband prices.

Europe is now at the next step. The European Commission has set up a market development organization, the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council, whose mission is to educate, promote, and accelerate the deployment of fiber in access and the resulting quality-of-life enhancements. Municipal FTTH rollout is now rising in northern Europe and elsewhere. European cities such as Paris, Amsterdam and Vienna are among cities planning to offer residents cheap or free broadband access. A few examples of this are:

• Amsterdam – The Amsterdam City Council agreed in January 2006 to launch phase one of Citynet, an FTTH project aiming to cover all 420,000 homes in Amsterdam.
• Paris– Paris is offering tax cuts to companies installing fiber in sewers and other city-owned infrastucture and officials there say they want at least 80% of buildings connected to the Internet through fiber by 2010.
• Germany – NetCologne, a regional telecom company active around Cologne, Bonn and Aachen, launched Germany’s first FTTH network in July 2006.
• Sweden – The Swedish Urban Network Association (SSNF), a trade group for network owners developing broadband infrastructure, is exploring FTTH. Members of the Association include some 150 municipal and 10 or so private local and regional network owners, plus service providers.

However, despite such enthusiasm for FTTH today, the impact on European broadband is likely to be limited in the short term. In the mean time, European countries are quickly expanding their DSL and cable services. Penetration could hit 60-70% in many larger nations in the next 2-3 years.

8.2 Asia

On March 28, 2003, the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications laid down the Asia Broadband Program aimed at “making Asia as a whole an information hub of the world.” The Program is a coalition of Asian countries committed to the goal of enabling “all people in Asia to gain access to broadband platforms including access from various public facilities, and to use applications utilizing broadband advantages to the fullest.”

This initiative has helped Asia remain on top on communication technologies. According to the ITU 2006 World Information Society Report, “The Asian economies of the Republic of Korea and Japan continue to lead in digital opportunity, due to their pioneering take-up of broadband and 3G mobile services.” In 2006, there were more than 78 million broadband connections in Asia (41% of the World’s total broadband connections). 70 million Japanese could access Internet on their cell phone and 69.5% of email traffic went through their mobile telephones. In Korea, nearly all Internet subscribers are broadband subscribers, connected via 100Mbits FTTH networks (with a broadband penetration of 90% among Internet users).

The Asia Broadband Program was revised in August 2006, considering progress in diffusion of broadband platforms and implementation status of measures proposed. The new objectives are defined as:

• Encourage standardization between countries and cities (cooperation on cell phone digital networks between China, Japan and Korea, IPv6 protocols).
• Offer new opportunities for developing countries in Asia, within the framework of Japan’s ODA (Official Development Assistance) and APT (Asia-Pacific Telecommunity), an intergovernmental body comprised of governmental agencies, telecommunication companies, and research centers. Cooperation and assistance projects have been launched to bring broadband access to rural areas (such as in Vietnam, Mongolia or Laos).

The Asia Broadband Program reflects the strong political engagement from both national and local governments to encourage universal broadband access in Asia. In September 2006, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Japan’s goal to be the digital interface between Asia and the rest of the World. This commitment is a good example of the ability of local or national communities to place themselves at the center of the Global Village.

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Press coverage

Here are are some articles about the Broadband Advisory Committee and the Bronx hearing:

NY Daily News
Information Week
Chelsea Now
Breitbart's Wordpress
Norwood News

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