Networking

NYC uses 'moonshot' challenge to accelerate 5G wireless in the city

Three finalists have been announced for the NYCx Governors Island Connectivity Challenge, focused on boosting high-speed, low-cost wireless service in 2018.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Three finalists have been announced for the NYCx Governors Island Connectivity Challenge, a "moonshot" challenge to bring 5G wireless and improve Wi-Fi in New York.
  • If successful, the NYCx Governors Island Connectivity Challenge could help bring Wi-Fi to more citizens, and speed business use cases for 5G.

Three finalists have been announced in a New York City "moonshot" challenge to speed the adoption of 5G and improve high-speed wireless access in the area, the Mayor's Office of the CTO announced Wednesday.

The three finalists will test out their proposals for low-cost Wi-Fi solutions and how to best bring 5G cellular connectivity to Governors Island, according to a press release. The three finalists are Neutral Connect Networks LLC, Fiberless Networks, and Edge Fibernet.

All three of the finalists are wireless communications providers. If the challenge is successful, it could help bring connectivity to more citizens around the city and set the stage for earlier business adoption of 5G as well.

SEE: Wireless networking policy (Tech Pro Research)

Now that the finalists have been unveiled, they will spend the next few months working on their solutions for Governors Island. Once the overall winner has been determined, the release said, they will deploy their technology on Governors Island during the next public 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," New York City CTO Miguel Gamiño, Jr. said in the release. "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."

The Connectivity Challenge was launched in October 2017 as a means of connecting with entrepreneurs and startups to help solve connectivity issues in the city. From the work done by the finalists, the city hopes to get better ideas around advancing broadband, 5G, and Wi-Fi, the release said.

"Internet access is now a critical link to economic opportunity," James Patchett, New York City Economic Development Corporation president and CEO, said in the release. "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."

Governor's Island is a seasonal tourist area south of Manhattan. The finalists will receive $25,000 to showcase their solutions there, and must be able to handle today's connectivity needs, but also future issues that may arise. Their solutions must also be able to help deal with high winds, potential flooding, and storm surges that come from climate change, the release said.

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Image: iStockphoto/helveticadoes

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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