Mayor Blasio announces Accelerated Internet Master Plan to connect 600,000 New Yorkers to jobs, training, others
As part of plan to support hardest-hit communities by Covid-19 the Mayor of New York city, Bill de Blasio, has announced that the NYC will accelerate broadband deployment in all five boroughs.
Blasio stated that the plan will prioritize public housing communities, which have suffered disproportionately during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While disclosing this on Tuesday July 7, 2020, Blasio said that Internet access "is a necessity, not a luxury."
He noted that broadband deployment would connect 600,000 New Yorkers to jobs, training, education, mental health supports and healthcare resources from home.
He added that "Corporations have been failing our communities since long before the COVID-19 crisis but the pandemic made the disparities crystal clear.
"That’s why we’re making a major investment in broadband for low-income and NYCHA residents."
According to the Mayor, the City will make a historic $157 million investment in ending digital redlining and providing high-speed internet, including $87 million redirected from the NYPD budget.
This investment will extend new internet service options to 600,000 underserved New Yorkers, including 200,000 NYCHA residents over the next 18 months.
This approach will create a path to NYCHA-wide implementation and universal broadband across New York city.
"Our mission to deliver affordable, high-quality internet service has never felt more urgent, said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
"COVID-19 has further exposed the inequalities in internet access while changing the way New Yorkers work, learn, and live.
"Accelerating universal broadband access will make our city healthier, safer, and more equal," he added.
"Broadband service has quickly become as necessary to modern life as electricity and running water. Having it can be a matter of life and death, particularly for communities of color, which may be cut off from critical health
alerts and other information during the COVID-19 crisis," said
First Lady Chirlane McCray.
"Universal broadband means that Black and Brown New Yorkers will have access to health care educational resources, employment opportunities, and social
programs, which will help them stay connected and strengthen these communities for generations to come," she added.