Mayor’s Office of the CTO and Trust for Governors Island Announce Connectivity Challenge Finalists

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Mayor’s Office of the CTO and Trust for Governors Island Announce Connectivity Challenge Finalists

Three finalists selected for ‘Moonshot’ tech challenge will now test proposals for high-speed Wi-Fi and next generation “5G” cellular connectivity on Governors Island.

January 31, 2018. New York, NY. – Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño, Jr. and Trust for Governors Island President Michael Samuelian announced today the finalists of the NYCx Governors Island Connectivity Challenge, the first citywide ‘Moonshot Challenge’ through the NYCx program that will bring high-speed, low-cost wireless service to Governors Island in 2018.

The three finalists represent a broad range of start-up companies and entrepreneurs aiming to bring internet connectivity to the Island, while informing how to deliver next generation network infrastructure for “5G” cellular connectivity across New York City’s parks and neighborhoods.

The Connectivity Challenge Finalists:

1. Neutral Connect Networks LLC, based in West Palm Beach, FL, owns and operates wireless communications infrastructure in New York City and other U.S. cities.

2. Fiberless Networks™, based in Quincy, MA offers wireless technology with speeds of 1 Gbps and greater. Fiberless Networks will partner with Green Zebra and Cisco Meraki to test and build their solution on Governors Island.

3. Edge Fibernet, based in NYC, provides internet and phone connectivity to low-income communities in Times Square, Brooklyn and Manhattan’s lower east side.

Over the next few months, finalists will work with the Trust and the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer to test and build solutions on Governors Island. A final winner will be chosen for the Connectivity Challenge to deploy their technologies on Governors Island during opening season.

“I’m excited to see new tools and technologies breaking ground in New York and helping us move a step closer to achieving the Mayor’s goal of affordable, high-quality, high-speed internet for all New Yorkers,” said Miguel Gamiño, Jr., New York City Chief Technology Officer. “This Moonshot Challenge is helping us engage the right experts to accelerate connectivity, establish fair opportunity for everyone to participate in today’s world, and make tech work for people.”

“Congratulations to all the finalists for putting forward innovative solutions to the “Moonshot Challenge” of creating more opportunity for high-speed, low-cost wireless service on Governors Island,” said Council Member Peter Koo, Chair of the Committee on Technology. “We look forward to making sure Governors Island lives up to its potential as a world class location that connects the five boroughs in more ways than one.”

The Connectivity Challenge, announced in October, 2017 looks to encourage global entrepreneurs to propose and deliver bold solutions to the City’s most pressing challenges and further Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal to ensure every New York City resident and business will have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband service by 2025. Through solutions proposed by the finalists announced today, the City expects to acquire new insights to advance broadband, Wi-Fi and 5G cellular service.

In order to bring internet equity and access to all corners of New York City, we need innovative tech talent to come up with smart, effective solutions,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “The ‘Moonshot challenge’ encourages groups to think outside the box to bring fast and affordable connectivity to Governor’s Island. Congratulations to all three finalists for all your hard work thus far, and thank you to Mayor De Blasio, Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño and Trust for Governors Island President Michael Samuelian for your efforts to bring exciting, transformative new programs like NYCx to Governor’s Island.”

Internet access is now a critical link to economic opportunity,” said James Patchett, NYCEDC President and CEO. “This challenge will propel new connectivity solutions into New York City’s ecosystem, both improving the experience at Governors Island and moving the needle on equitable high speed Internet access for all New Yorkers.”

“We need real solutions for real people if New York City is to be the inclusive and prosperous city we all can survive and thrive in,” said Maya Wiley, Senior Vice President for Social Justice & Henry Cohen Professor of Public and Urban Policy at The New School and NYCx Technology Leadership Advisory Council Member. “And ‘moonshots’ will matter as innovation experiments like these help us build a 21st century bridge over divides we can no longer tolerate.”

I am excited about supporting the innovative ways that the City of New York and the NYCx programming are encouraging entrepreneurs to work with New York to make the City a better place for all,” said Kevin Ryan, Chairman and CEO of AlleyCorp and NYCx Technology Leadership Advisory Council Member.

Governors Island, a popular seasonal destination for recreation, arts and culture with acres of park space beloved by New Yorkers, is undergoing a transformation into a community with year-round commercial, cultural and educational activity. The Connectivity Challenge winning solution will bring much needed service to the Islands hundreds of thousands of seasonal visitors, dozens of art and cultural organizations producing public programming and future year-round tenants.

“As the transformation of Governors Island continues with more and more New Yorkers delighting in all it has to offer, we have a unique opportunity to bring creative and innovative amenities to our visitors and community,” said Michael Samuelian, Trust for Governors Island President. “We are thrilled to partner with these entrepreneurs in unlocking the potential of next generation connectivity technologies throughout New York City’s public spaces.”

Finalists will receive up to $25,000 to showcase their solutions on Governors Island, a microcosm for larger islands globally like Manhattan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The winner will address the needs of the visitors of today and the multi-use tenants of tomorrow, while demonstrating their ability to mitigate risks associated with climate change, such as high winds, potential flooding, and storm surges.

“We’re honored by this opportunity,” said Ted Flomenhaft, CEO of Edge Fibernet. “Our network will deliver complete coverage and support for amenity and security services needed now and in the future to enhance management, guest and tenant experiences and objectives. EDGE’s powerful redundant Network Core permits us to deliver affordable Gigabit+ Internet services wherever we extend our Network Edge. We serve three immediately adjacent Governors Island communities, DUMBO and Sunset Park in Brooklyn and the Lower East side, which makes Governors Island a logical extension of our network and established technical support resources.”

“We are excited to be included in the final round of the bid by the Governors Island Trust,” said Louis Slaughter, CEO of Fiberless Networks, Inc. “We are pleased to showcase our solution which we believe will be the model for future Smart Cities as it will integrate the effective delivery of wireless communications and at the same time enable the efficient delivery of media providing actionable feedback for sponsors to generate and grow revenue.”

Making it to the final round of the Challenge allows NCN to display a cutting edge, self-contained network on Governors Island that will be a showcase of what a world class, greenfield, wireless build can be in 2018,” said Paul McGinn, CEO of Neutral Connect Networks.

About NYCX

Launched in October 2017, NYCx is the world’s first municipal program to transform urban spaces into hubs for tech collaboration, research, testing and development. New York City’s diverse population, economy and landscape offer a unique opportunity for technology companies to develop tools that improve the world. NYCx is a program in the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

About the Trust for Governors Island

The Trust for Governors Island is the nonprofit corporation created by the City of New York that is responsible for the redevelopment and operation of 150 acres of Governors Island. The Trust’s mission is to transform Governors Island into a vibrant resource for New York City, making this island at the center of New York Harbor a destination with extraordinary public open space, as well as educational, not-for-profit and commercial facilities.

CONTACT: Kathleen Clark, Mayor’s Office of the CTO; E: kaclark@cto.nyc.gov, P: 646-927-9592