Friday, January 2, 2015

Borough Presidents Address Internet Inequality

New York City’s five borough presidents, together with City Comptroller Scott Stringer have created a “Five Borough Broadband Bill of Rights” to address the differential across the city of internet access.

According to a report published by Stringer, 30 percent of households in Brooklyn are without high-speed internet. That statistic compares unfavorably with the 21 percent of households who do not have high-speed internet in Manhattan. The report shows that even within each borough large differences exist. For instance, Kensington and Borough Park have the lowest rate of internet access at 47 percent of households without.

The report, which is labeled “Internet Inequality: Broadband Access in NYC,” explains that there are two major reasons for the lack of high-speed internet in the city: poor broadband quality and expense.
“New Yorkers who don’t have online access lack the tools they need to improve their education, employment and business opportunities,” Stringer said. “Just as the subway powered New York’s growth in the 20th century, high-speed broadband will power our city’s economic competitiveness in the 21st century.”

Stringer and the five borough presidents came together to produce the “Five Borough Broadband Bill of Rights” to find ways to reduce the differences between the city’s neighborhoods as far as internet access is concerned. The goal of the “Bill of Rights” is to bring neighborhoods like Kensington and Borough Park, with almost half the households without internet, to more of a parity with other neighborhoods, such as SoHo and Greenwich Village, which have almost 90 percent of households equipped with high-speed web access.