Xchange Telecom and NYC EDC to Expand Broadband in Industrial Zones

  • New York City Economic Development Corporation
  • Stealth Communications
  • Xchange Telecom
NEW YORK — New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced the launch of Connect IBZ: Broadband Expansion in Industrial Business Zones (Connect IBZ), a $5.3 million public-private partnership that will construct access to high-speed Internet in IBZs in New York City by expanding broadband infrastructure in currently underserved areas. The program will create high-speed commercial broadband networks in the Southwest Brooklyn, Long Island City, North Brooklyn and Greenpoint-Williamsburg IBZs, which are among the city’s “Digital Deserts.” Fast and reliable broadband access has become increasingly critical for businesses of all types in New York City, and Connect IBZ will help increase access to broadband connectivity for hundreds of businesses in these currently underserved communities. The networks in the four IBZs will be designed, constructed, maintained, and operated by Stealth Communications Services LLC, and Xchange Telecom LLC, two New York City-based Internet service pProviders (ISPs).

Supporting Industrial Business Zones with Broadband Infrastructure
"High-speed Internet is critical to the success of businesses in the 21st century economy, and it is imperative that we support these industrial business zones with the necessary infrastructure so that they can continue to provide quality jobs for New Yorkers," said NYCEDC Interim President Kim Vaccari. "Connect IBZ provides broadband access to underserved industrial businesses in Brooklyn and Queens, bringing increased opportunities to hundreds of businesses in former Digital Deserts."

Through the Connect IBZ program, Stealth Communications will build a fiber optic network in the Southwest Brooklyn IBZ, and will work with NYCEDC and members of the community to determine a site for an outdoor wireless network that will be free to the public. Xchange Telecom will create a fiber core, fixed-wireless edge broadband network in the Long Island City, North Brooklyn, and Greenpoint-Williamsburg IBZs, enabling customers to receive service from network hubs wirelessly via rooftop-mounted equipment. Customers signing up for service from either provider will have access to service at speeds from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps or higher.

Both ISPs will work closely with community organizations in the IBZs to ensure that the network design and business outreach processes are informed by local priorities and provide local benefits. Kickoff events will be held this summer in each of the IBZs, where commercial tenants will be able to learn more about the program and sign up for service. Businesses interested in the IBZs interested in upgraded broadband service may visit http://nycedc.com/connectibz to learn more about these events and submit their information to be put in touch with the ISPs as service rolls out in their area.

Combined Funding Totaling $3.75 million
NYCEDC will provide over $1.6 million for the program from the New York State Connect NY Broadband Grant Program. This funding will be supplemented by private contributions from the ISPs totaling over $3.75 million. Project funding will cover the costs of network creation as well as build-outs to at least 500 commercial tenants over two years, with both ISPs investing in further network expansion beyond the contract term. Commercial tenants in the IBZs will benefit from access to newer and more reliable technologies as well as faster Internet speeds that will enable them to grow and thrive.

This initial investment in broadband infrastructure in these digital deserts will serve as a launching pad for future growth and will ensure that these areas remain competitive with other real estate in the city for attracting and retaining innovative businesses. The Connect IBZ project areas were selected through a publicly-issued Request for Expressions of Interest, and the providers were selected through a public Request for Proposals issued in summer 2014.

“Access to high-speed broadband is critical for growing and retaining business in New York State. Without robust broadband infrastructure, businesses cannot remain competitive in today’s 21st century global economy,” said David Salway, executive director of the NYS Broadband Program. “We are extremely pleased that through Governor Cuomo’s Connect NY Broadband Grant Program, unserved businesses in the NYC region will benefit from these key infrastructure improvements.”

Connect IBZ is part of the city's larger suite of initiatives to expand broadband connectivity and increase high-speed Internet access for commercial businesses and entrepreneurs, including WiredNYC, an initiative aimed at bringing transparency to broadband connectivity in NYC's commercial buildings and the NYC Broadband Map, which provides an up-to-date view of the availability of broadband infrastructure in commercial buildings as well as a view of emerging demand for broadband services in the City’s commercial buildings and neighborhoods. Additionally, the City remains committed to the expansion of broadband and high-speed Internet access throughout all five boroughs. In November 2014, Mayor de Blasio announced LinkNYC, an initiative that will bring the world’s fastest municipal Wi-Fi to millions of New Yorkers by replacing an aging network of public pay telephones with state-of-the-art connection points.


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