Many of the businesses driving growth in the 21st century require access to reliable, high-speed broadband. With this in mind, New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently launched an initiative to ramp up fiber availability to startup companies in NYC.
According to the mayor’s office, they’ve launched the ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge, which is open to companies with less than 100 employees who want to increase their businesses internet speed dramatically with a fiber optic internet connection.
“Contestants demonstrating the highest potential impact of fiber connectivity – on their own business, nearby businesses and underserved areas – will become finalists. Finalists will have a chance to win a free build-out of fiber internet connectivity to their place of business,” according to the contest’s website.
Winning contestants receive a free fiber build-out to their location of business, which has been identified as one of the biggest hurdles to getting connected to broadband internet. The average cost for a build out is approximately $50,000 per business and can vary dramatically depending on a business’ location.
All submissions will be judged by a panel of judges, selected by the New York City Economic Development Corp., to determine a list of finalists. Companies will qualify for one award category based on whether their location is in the service area of Cablevision or Time Warner Cable Business Class, and on whether their location is in an Industrial Business Zone (IBZ).
The categories are: Cablevision Award; Cablevision IBZ Award; Time Warner Cable Business Class Award; and Time Warner Cable Business Class IBZ Award. Submissions that earn the highest overall scores will become the finalists for the challenge. Companies have until November 27 at 5:00pm EST to enter a submission.
This initiative is part of New York’s larger goal of advancing its presence as a tech hub, and 100+ businesses are anticipated to receive free fiber wiring through this competition. This initiative is similar to the Google Fiber project being rolled out in Kansas City, Missouri, where Google has begun to connect homes to its 1-Gbit/s network.