NEW YORK CITY BROADBAND ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The New York City Broadband* Advisory Committee is gathering public testimony on the state of Internet access in New York City and is seeking suggestions for improvements.
Broadband Advisory Public Hearing
Tuesday, May 22nd
Noon to 3 pm
in the Courtroom hearing room in the Brooklyn Borough Hall
209 Joralemon Street in downtown Brooklyn
(*Broadband means fast Internet, though how fast is up for debate.)
For updates from People’s Production House and recordings of previous hearings, visit www.digitalexpansion.net.
It is especially important for people and organizations that aren’t connected to the Internet to attend this hearing. The Committee will be recommending solutions for extending Internet access throughout the five boroughs. If they only hear from business leaders or laptop-toting hipsters, then that is who their solution will serve. But if you engage this process now, you have an opportunity to shape how we will communicate across our city for the next 100 years. The Committee and the city need to know that you are paying attention to this process and care about its outcome.
People’s Production House is working to ensure that all New Yorkers get heard as these critical decisions are being made. We encourage you to attend this hearing and to share what you know about how the Internet works or doesn’t work for you and your community.
Please contact us if you have any questions or if we can help in any way. We’d be happy to talk to you or your members in person, over the phone, or through email to explain more about the process, and help you envision New York’s Internet future.
What is at stake?
Literally everything you like about the Internet is at risk and everything you don’t like about it can be changed. This committee could determine how we communicate for the next 100 years. Starting right now is the best chance you will ever have to do something about it.
This is not the only way to change this system or even to voice your opinion, but it is an important opening and we encourage you to take advantage of it.
What can I do?
Testify at the Broadband Advisory Committee hearing on Tuesday May 22 at noon in Brooklyn. If you do not wish to testify, you can simply attend and hear what others are saying. There will also be hearings in Queens, Manhattan, and Staten Island (the Bronx hosted one in March) in the coming months.
Don’t hold back. Maybe your problem is that you don’t have a computer. Or that the Internet is too slow or too expensive. Or maybe the websites are all dumb. Maybe you think you should be able to put whatever ring tones you want, like maybe one you make for yourself, on your phone.
You can put it in writing or just speak into the microphone. They will likely request that you keep your spoken testimony to two minutes; written testimony can be as long as you want.
You can also encourage others to take part in these hearings. Or, since many people are not able to attend midday hearings, you can gather the testimony of your neighbors and deliver it on their behalf.
To sign up for further notices, including details on the public hearings in other boroughs, visit www.digitalexpansion.net.
How can PPH help?
We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss these issues with you further. We would be happy to come to your office or community center, respond to emails, or talk on the phone.
We can help you gather testimony from your colleagues or neighbors.
We can help you or your organization’s members participate in the hearing. Whether it’s translating languages or clarifying your argument or arranging transportation to the hearing, please contact us and we will do our best to assist you.
If you would like flyers or other materials to use for publicity or as invitations to promote the hearing, let us know.
What is the Broadband Advisory Committee?
The City Council (eagerly) and the Mayor (reluctantly) formed this committee to “explore the issue of universal broadband availability and access in New York City.” They are holding public hearings in all five boroughs. Their official website is http://nycbroadband.blogspot.com
Who is People’s Production House?
People’s Production House helps middle and high school students and low-wage and immigrant workers be radio journalists. In our crowded local media environment, the best way for these journalists to distribute their work to their peers and neighbors and the world at large is over the Internet – except that so many of their peers and neighbors do not have access to the Internet. So we are working to expand access to the Internet to strengthen communication among New Yorkers whose right to communicate, we believe, is already in a precarious state.