Improve Your Space: A Competition for Free Fiber Wiring

Brooklyn artisans: Are you making your product or trying to run your business in an unwired or underwired building? Or are you considering space in a building that would be great—if only it were better wired? You may want to check out ConnectNYC, a city-sponsored competition that will award $12 million in free fast-track fiber cable wiring to selected small and medium-sized commercial and industrial businesses over the next two years.

ConnectNYC is a project of  the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and ChallengePost, an NYC startup that “enables government agencies and software companies to invite the public to solve problems.” According to NYC Council member Gale Brewer, “We learned that fast, free and low cost fiber does not exist in many of the commercial and manufacturing areas” in the city. “Getting more New York City businesses access to high-speed broadband will have a major impact on their ability to be competitive and ultimately succeed in today’s marketplace,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.

To apply, go to http://nycfiberchallenge.com, or call 311 for more information. The deadline is 5 pm EST, November 27, 2012. Awards will be based on various criteria, including how better connectivity could help you grow your business. Only individual businesses may apply, but it’s worth getting fellow business owners in your neighborhood to apply as well because “applications will be evaluated on proximity to other applying businesses in order to encourage clustering and efficiency in broadband installation, as well as proximity to areas currently underserved by broadband infrastructure,” according to ConnectNYC. 

The first set of winners will be announced in early 2013. Time Warner Cable and Cablevision will do the build-outs, with 100 businesses expected to be wired in the first year of the program and another 140 the following year.

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