Mayor Bloomberg has been a vocal advocate of moving New York City toward the center of the tech world, but with the end of his third term approaching, the future of his vision is in jeopardy, especially where it concerns broadband technology. Throughout the day, Wired City will be publishing a series of interviews with several of this year’s crop of mayoral candidates, asking each where he or she stands on issues regarding broadband and how best to upgrade the city’s aging infrastructure.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was instrumental in the Bloomberg initiatives to expand broadband connectivity across the city. To some broadband experts, her desire to expand connectivity in the past is a good omen for the future. Her staff supplied transcripts from recent speeches on this topic.
On the Bloomberg administration’s tech efforts:
Ms. Quinn: We have a great foundation to build on. The Bloomberg administration has made tech a real priority. But we can’t afford to take this progress for granted. Technology is rapidly evolving, and we need to keep pace with this evolution. The lines between tech companies and non-tech companies are disappearing. Every company is using technology to improve products and services.
How do we move forward?
Instead of keeping distance between government and the innovation community, we need to bring innovators inside City Hall, and not treat innovation as just one function of the DoITT commissioner. That’s why I will create a separate Office of Innovation staffed by top talent that we will steal from the tech community and beyond. They will be charged with integrating technology and innovation into every agency and pursuing solutions to the real challenges that New Yorkers face.
What about Internet connectivity?
We need a comprehensive strategy to wire the entire city. We need tech businesses to have the freedom to move wherever they want, so they can unlock the potential in every borough and every neighborhood. At the same time, we need to close the digital divide so that every resident has access to the Internet for work, school and recreation. That’s why I’m committing to making NYC the most wired city in the U.S. by 2018.