The Resident, August 29, 2005 - The City's High-Tech Experts Debate How To Bring Internet Access to All New Yorkers

From Article:

At least that’s the ideal. In truth, though broadband — dedicated highspeed Internet access — is available to many New Yorkers, the majority still has problems getting the service, according to Dana Spiegel, the executive director of NYCwireless, a New York group that promotes free wireless Internet access.

“About 60 percent of New York City doesn’t make use of broadband, and 90 percent of low-income people have no broadband,” he says. “The reason for this is that most communities have only access to one or two big providers, and broadband can’t be had in New York for less than $50 a month.”

Some state and local governments are making broadband a public utility akin to water, sewerage, telephone lines and electricity. The state of Georgia now wires up with Georgia Public Web, a high-speed Internet provider owned by the state’s municipalities. The government of Philadelphia plans to offer free or low-cost Wi-Fi, a popular high-speed Internet wireless service. But city experts don’t see a public utility on New York’s broadband horizon.

NYCwireless is interested in improving broadband accessibility and affordability, but not making it a public utility, Spiegel says.