Broadband Assessment

Keyboard with ethernet cable

About the Engagement 

The client is an economic development focused organization, whose mission is to ensure inclusive economic development across the five boroughs of New York City. The agency is responsible for driving the growth of equitable, sustainable neighborhoods, in addition to investing in industries like technology, life sciences and advanced manufacturing, to diversify the City’s economy and bring good paying jobs to New Yorkers. The engagement team was asked to conduct a comprehensive review of broadband to develop a go-forward strategy for its residential, commercial, and public Wi-Fi markets. 

Business Problem

The client was experiencing poor broadband market performance such as high prices, slow speeds, and insufficient coverage in its residential and commercial market.  


One challenge was the inaccuracy of the maps used. Due to the changes to neighborhoods over time, the maps were not as accurate and reliable. Another challenge was analyzing robust and geographically varied data to inform the New York City market strategy and solution.  

Project Impacts and Outcomes 

The engagement team conducted a variety of qualitative and quantitative analyses to bring the client new insight into its current broadband market and emerging leading practices. The team developed measurable indicators customized to the city, but anchored in leading practice for appropriate affordability, speed, and reliability. The team queried over 52,000 addresses to create more accurate maps to visualize broadband access. The team surveyed leading models of broadband delivery across the U.S. and the globe to help the client understand how other cities were managing broadband. Benchmarking topics included: speed and affordability offerings, governance of broadband markets including municipal ownership, provisioning of public Wi-Fi, deployment of smart city technology, and use of innovative street furniture including smart light poles. The team created a number of relevant tools to help the city identify the correct interventions in each neighborhood, along with modeling costs and benefits.  

The end-result of the engagement is that the client was left with an actionable, capital strategy for its $70million per year budget and the tools to make the case for the additional funds needed. Our work helped the client secure more than $4million in additional funding for a single neighborhood, delivering access to hundreds of residents and businesses, stimulating the economy, and closing the digital divide. 



Posted on

December 21, 2023