ConnectNYC Brings Fiber Internet to Local Businesses

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On March 12, 2014, a contest to connect New York City businesses with high-speed Internet came to a close.

Held by the New York City Economic Development Corp. (EDC), the ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge will award city businesses with dedicated fiber to their locations -- each of which is worth about $50,000. Now the EDC is working its way through more than 150 applications, giving out fiber connections on a first come, first serve basis. And according to Ian Fried, marketing and publicity director for EDC, none of the applicants have been turned away thus far.

"And we hope that as many contracts as possible can be negotiated," he said. This is the second round of the ConnectNYC program, which is funded by a franchise agreement with the city.

In the first round, 29 businesses were selected, and included a Holiday Inn in Long Island and a Kickstarter project. The EDC expanded the program by partnering with more ISPs, offering more applications and providing $14 million worth of fiber construction cost coverage for the winning businesses.

"This program doesn't just benefit tech companies," said Eric Gertler, executive vice president of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC). "We're living in an age where broadband is essential for all types of businesses." In New York City, a majority of people receive their Internet service through legacy copper wires -- which is incapable of supporting high performance services, so fiber is the next step.

ConnectNYC Brings Fiber Internet to Local Businesses