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City Council Tech Committee Holds Hearing on WiFi in NYC Parks

January 26, 2011 Leave a comment

On January 26, 2011, the New York City Council held a joint hearing with the Committee on Technology and the Committee on Parks and Recreation to discuss wireless internet access in New York City’s public parks. The hearing centered around the agreement in principle on a franchise renewal between DoITT and the cable providers Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. Under the agreement, the companies would invest $10 million to install and maintain WiFi service in 32 public parks throughout the five boroughs. The plan would carry it with it the following stipulations:

– Service would be free for exisiting Cablevision and Time Warner Cable subscribers.

– Non-subscribers would be allotted three, free, ten-minute sessions per month.

– Additional access would be available for a 24-hour period, for a fee of 99 cents.

A number of people testified at the hearing, including Carole Post, Commisioner of DoITT; Mitch Albauhm, DoITT’s General Counsel and Deputy Commissioner for Franchise Administration; Bruce Regal, Senior Counsel at the New York City Law Department; Robert Garafola, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation; Deanna Bitetti, Associate Director of Common Cause New York; Dana Spiegel, Executive Director of NYCwireless; and others.

A number of advocates are concerned that the service is not being provided free of charge, especially given that DoITT has stated that their goal is to provide WiFi service to low-income communities which have been traditionally underserved in regards to internet access. For more information on this or other technology issues, please contact the Office of Council Member Gale A. Brewer, William Colegrove, Director of Legislation and Budget,  at (212) 788-6975, or

Categories: Uncategorized

City Council Tech Comm to Hold Hearing on Open Data

Visit for more details.

Visit to register. The hearing will be live webcasted and archived at Below is the QR code for smartphones.

For Android phones, iPhones, and Blackberries smartphone devices.

Register at

The New York City Council Committee on Technology’s  hearing on Open Data standards for all city agencies will be held on 10:00am on June 21, 2010 at 250 Broadway, New York, NY (Across the from City Hall).  This bill, Introduction 029-2010 (formerly Intro. 991-2009), is an effort to increase government transparency and facilitate easier access to public data.  We are especially hoping that you could highlight some of your experiences in the as an entrepreneur and web developer, and how City data may present the opportunity for new products or applications.

Beyond the ‘good government’ benefits of this legislation, the bill will also unlock City data to enable web developers and entrepreneurs to interact with City government in new and unforeseen ways.  Data published under this legislation will be readable by any computer device, whether that is a laptop or a phone, for innovative developments.  This Gov 2.0 inspired transparency legislation, targets application developers, startups, small businesses, and academics with the ultimate goal of strengthening the connection between government and the public, while re-energizing the small business-tech sectors  and highlight New York’s digital future.

We would greatly appreciate your attendance at the hearing to testify about the importance of ensuring open data standards in New York City, please contact the Office of Council Member Gale A. Brewer, Kunal Malhotra, Legislative and Budget Director, at (212) 788-6975 or / Samuel Wong, Legislative Aide on Technology, at (212) 788-6975 or

Trains to 250 Broadway:
R, W (Broadway lines) to City Hall
2, 3 (7th Ave.) to Park Place
A, C (8th Ave.) to Chambers Street
4, 5, 6 (Lexington Ave.)/ J, M, Z (Nassau Lines) to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall

Updates on Open Government

We’ve uploaded all of the testimonies, video, and hearing materials on Int. 991-2009, now known as Int. 029-2010 in the 2010-2013 Legislative session.  Please visit the “Open Government” tab above and click on 2009 for Int. 991 materials.  Int. 029-2010 pages will be updated accordingly.

NTIA Releases Second Round Notices for Broadband (BTOP) Grants

January 18, 2010 Leave a comment

On Friday, January 15, 2010, the United States Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released the Notification of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the second and final round of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).  BTOP is available through the federal stimulus package, the American Recovery and Renewal Act (ARRA), which passed in February 2009.

BTOP includes $2.6 billion in funding dedicated to supporting efforts to bridge the digital divide across the United States.  Approximately $2.35 billion will be made allocated for infrastructure projects, approximately $150 million will be allocated to Public Computer Center projects, and at least at least $100 million for Sustainable Broadband Adoption projects.  According to the NTIA Press Release, “NTIA is adopting a “comprehensive communities” approach as its top priority in awarding infrastructure grants, focusing on middle mile broadband projects that connect key community anchor institutions – such as libraries, hospitals, community colleges, universities, and public safety institutions.”

From the NTIA website:

Press Release: NTIA and USDA’s RUS Announce Availability of $4.8 Billion in Recovery Act Funding to Bring Broadband to More Americans. (PDF Print Version 108Kb)

More information can be found at  Applications and other materials will be available on BroadbandUSA Portal.

Please contact Kunal Malhotra [] at (212) 788-6975 with any questions.


Tech Committee to Review Ways to Boost Small Business Tech Sector

December 7, 2009 4 comments

UPDATE:  Testimonies and other Hearing Documents are now online at the following link.

Technology Committee to Review Ways to Boost NYC Small Business Tech Sector

Who:   Council Committee on Technology in Government, Council Committee on Economic Development, Technology Community, Entrepreneurs, and Developers

When: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 10 AM

What:  Public Hearing on Tech start-ups, their benefits to NYC, and methods to encourage digital entrepreneurship

Where: Council Chambers, City Hall

(The Hearing will be webcasted through and tweeted on More details below.)

New York, NY – On Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 10 AM in the Council Chambers of City Hall, the New York City Council Committees on Technology in Government and Economic Development will hold a joint public hearing to examine how small technology start-ups are surviving in this tough economy.  This hearing will help the Council understand the dynamics behind successful firms as well as what options are available to the City in aiding these important businesses in their struggle to remain competitive and viable in a global environment.  More information is available here.

Net Neutrality Hearing – Reso. 712A-2007

November 24, 2009 1 comment

UPDATE 2 (05/07/2010/Correct link): Hearing Transcript is available here.

The New York City Council Committee on Technology in Government held an public hearing  on Friday, November 20, 2009  at the Council Chambers of City Hall in New York City.  Council Member Gale A. Brewer and the Committee considered a pending Resolution 712A-2007 that recommends the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to codify stronger net neutrality rules to preserve the open Internet.  More details on hearing can be found here.

Open the Internet – Public Hearing on Net Neutrality

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment

Committee Aims to Review Current Net Neutrality Rules

CITY HALL, NEW YORK – On Friday, November 20, 2009 at 10 a.m. in the Committee Room of City Hall, the New York City Council Committee on Technology in Government will hold a public hearing regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) six principles of Net Neutrality.  This hearing seeks to gain insight into these principles, which the FCC seeks to codify. The November 20 hearing will assess whether the Net Neutrality principles as articulated would effectively obtain the goal of maintaining a free and open Internet.  Also, the hearing serves as an opportunity to examine pending Resolution 712A-2007, which asks the FCC and Congress to set firm Net Neutrality regulations.  You can view the resolution at

The FCC announced the six principles – made up of four previous rules from 2005 and two new ones articulating regulation around network transparency and nondiscrimination – in late October 2009. The

FCC made a request for public comment on this matter and the Committee on Technology in Government will draw from the hearing’s testimonies to draft a letter that includes citywide input.

We encourage you to distribute this message widely. Furthermore, please suggest witnesses or individuals to whom we should reach out.

You can follow us on and use the hashtag #reso712A.

If you want to attend and/or testify at this hearing, please contact Kunal Malhotra, Legislative and Budget Director, at or Samuel Wong, Legislative Aide on Technology, at  Both are reachable at our City Hall Office at (212) 788-6975.