“The Big Apple” Asks “Won’t You Be Our 5G Helper?”


New York City wants companies to step forward as potential partners in building out the city’s 5G infrastructure, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio in a press conference held on Wednesday. The Mayor said any company that wants to gain access to city-owned properties will have to meet requirements set forth by New York officials. 

“The city, land, city buildings, all the places where companies want to expand their capacity, we hold the key to that as the city of New York,” he said. “We’re investing $157 million in affordable internet access and that’s going to allow us to reach 600,000 more New Yorkers, including a lot of folks who have been excluded because of where they live,” de Blasio said. The Mayor’s comments follow on the heels of 5G franchises awarded earlier this month by the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT). 

“We are excited by the DoITT announcement that there will be expanded connectivity for enhanced cell service and internet speeds across New York City in all boroughs, including underserved communities. This will provide for more equitable access to communication and information for all,” said Assemblyman Clyde Vanel.

De Blasio, Vanel, and other New York legislators expressed their approval for the ten new franchise agreements brokered by the DOITT that will make it easier for all New Yorkers operating within the five boroughs to digitally connect. The independent Franchise and Concession Review Committee stressed that the agreements foster the equitable expansion of 5G.

The 10 franchisees include Crown Castle Fiber, Crown Castle NG East, Crown Castle Solutions, CSC Wireless, ExteNet Systems (ExteNet 1), ExteNet Systems (ExteNet 2), New Cingular Wireless PCS, New York SMSA Limited Partnership, Transit Wireless, and ZenFi Networks. The agreements set up by the DOITT authorize the providers to install, operate, and maintain equipment and facilities. Base stations and access-point facilities are included in the agreement, as are bus stop shelters, automatic public toilets, and LinkNYC kiosks, though some locations are subject to city approvals. The franchisees have clearance to place equipment on city-owned street and traffic light poles with some privately owned utility poles being included as well.

“New York City is the fastest paced city in the world and if we want to keep that title we need the fastest wireless with 5G,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. 

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