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Growing the Internet 1 August 2017

NYC Mesh Interim Report June, 2017

NYC Mesh: Internet for Everyone

More than one in four New Yorkers lack access to broadband internet at home, according to the city comptroller. Race and class dynamics highlight this divide. Black and hispanic households are 23% more likely to be without broadband access, and people who lack formal high school education are 360% as likely to lack broadband as New Yorkers with bachelor’s degrees or higher. In the comptroller’s own words the “two major causes of Internet inequality in New York City are the high cost and poor quality of broadband compared to other cities” (Internet Inequality Stringer, City of New York 2014).

Our goal with this project is to get internet access and open-source software into the hands of people who have been purposefully excluded by the large telecommunications companies. We intend not only to install 50 nodes around three neighborhoods to extend cheap or free access to 50 more buildings (and at least two households per building). This will not only provide free, street-level access to anywhere between ½ a block and several blocks depending on building height, topography, and density, but will also make the marginal cost much lower for neighbors who don’t get the free hardware.

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