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Bringing Broadband to the Outer Boroughs of NYC

Jun 19, 2019 1:00:11 PM

In 2004, an article was published by a research thinktank called The Center For an Urban Future titled - New York’s Broadband Gap. It’s remarkable how little has been accomplished in the 15 years since the article was published. Sometimes you need to look into the past to see the future.

In 2015, we launched Skywire Networks to expand hi-speed internet service in Brooklyn, Queens and the areas of Manhattan outside of midtown and downtown. While 7.5 million people live in the outer boroughs of NYC, remarkably, fiber density in these areas is notoriously poor. Brooklyn and Queens are the 3rd and 4th largest cities in the US, however, less than 20% of the buildings in these boroughs have access to gigabit fiber.

In July 2016, we announced that we had lit our 250th building in NYC and since the outset, our mission has remained the same, which is to bring high-quality, enterprise-class, gigabit-capable internet to those parts of NYC which are desperately in need.

This week in Crain’s NY, Matthew Flamm published an article titled – “Race is on to bring broadband to outer boroughs”.  Matt has been one of the few journalists to cover the continuing challenge of bringing quality broadband to the outer boroughs. Our CEO Alan Levy and Skywire Networks was referenced in the article.

Beaming from above
Fiber is far from the only way to bring premium broadband to underserved neighborhoods. In the outer boroughs, fixed wireless makes more sense, its proponents say, because it needs only a fiber- connected tall building to beam microwaves down to smaller buildings around it.

That is faster and less costly than digging up streets, said Alan Levy, chief executive of Skywire Networks, which provides fixed-wireless service to 650 buildings in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

Skywire recently built two hubs on rooftops in the Bronx.

"As you start moving out [of Manhattan], you're not going to get the return on investment that's needed to deliver the fiber, particularly if you're not using ECS conduits," Levy said.

Skywire can provide dedicated gigabit service for around $1,000 a month in Manhattan and $1,300 in Brooklyn and Queens, where the less-dense customer base reduces economies of scale.

Stealth and Skywire have had help expanding. The 2015 city program Connect IBZ provided infrastructure grants in industrial business zones to both companies. Skywire, known at the time as Xchange, expanded to Williamsburg and Long Island City; Stealth began a network on a stretch of Third Avenue in Brooklyn that it continues to build out.

Both companies would like to see more programs of that kind.

The full article can be found here.

If your business or your client’s business is located outside of midtown east or Wall Street in Manhattan, then there is a good chance that their internet is poor and needs a boost.

Drop us a line at 1-844-SKY-WIRE and let us know how we can help or email us at sales@skywirenetworks.com.

Paul Harr

Written by Paul Harr

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