Tuesday, January 25, 2005
The New York City "Broadband Gap"
Jonathan Bowles, research director of the Center for an Urban Future, a non-partisan policy institute, details the NYC connectivity scene:
. . . there are still several commercial districts across the city—including a handful in Brooklyn—where many businesses still have great difficulty accessing a reliable broadband connection at prices they can afford.Link
It is virtually impossible to detail the true extent of the broadband gap, since city and state agencies collect scant information about business broadband subscribers. But based on interviews I conducted with numerous business owners, officials at local development corporations, real estate experts and officials at telecom companies, I found that businesses face extremely limited options for obtaining broadband in parts of Red Hook, Sunset Park, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, East New York, Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
In these areas, many businesses are too far from a Verizon central office to qualify for DSL. In other instances, DSL is available but the service is either of extremely poor quality or doesn’t allow the connection speeds that make the service worthwhile. Residential customers around the five boroughs who have problems with DSL almost always can turn to another moderately affordable option: a cable modem broadband connection. And while cable companies are increasingly making their broadband service available for small businesses across the city, they have mostly targeted businesses located in or around residential areas. Cable companies still haven’t extended their infrastructure to many commercial buildings in several of the city’s more isolated industrial neighborhoods.
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