De Blasio announces plan to spread internet access in NYC

Posted: Updated:

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an ambitious new plan that would make sure every New Yorker has internet access.

De Blasio unveiled the city's broadband plan for universal broadband, aimed at closing the so-called digital divide. The plan requires lower-cost options for home and mobile service.

It also offers no-cost access at computer centers, in public spaces and in wireless corridors. All of this is by partnering the city with private providers to expand infrastructure and keep costs low.

"Every New Yorker waits on line, but they shouldn't wait to get online," said de Blasio.

The mayor argues that New Yorkers need both mobile and at-home connectivity, but that 40% of city households lack both. He also says that in the Bronx, 38% of residents lack internet access in their home.

De Blasio argues that the lack of internet access creates barriers to education and employment. He says it also creates barries to banking, health care and government services.

He says people go without internet because it's simply too expensive. On top of increased access, the city estimates that having all New Yorkers connected could create 165,000 jobs and a $49 billion in personal income.

There was no specific timeline outlined as to when the project would be complete.

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