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New York City to award free fiber-based broadband to area startups

Finalists have to prove how they will benefit from fiber connectivity
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New York City believes the best way attract more high tech startups is to give them a fiber connection, so on Friday the city announced a contest whereby New York-based startups can compete to get a fiber-based broadband connection.

The ConnectNYC Fiber Challenge contest is targeting companies with less than 100 employees. Over a two-year period, the organization will award $12 million, including $7 million to be allocated in 2012. On average, the city said each deployment will cost about $50,000.

Interested businesses who want a fiber connection have until Nov. 27 to apply and make their case as to why their site is worthy of a fiber-based connection.

"Contestants demonstrating the highest potential impact of fiber connectivity--on their own business, nearby businesses, and underserved areas--will become finalists," said ConnectNYC in a blog post. "Finalists will have a chance to win a free build-out of fiber internet connectivity to their place of business."

This contest is part of a move by New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg to motivate service providers like Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) to expand fiber availability in NYC to more businesses.

In late August, the cable MSO's business unit Time Warner Cable Business Class (TWCBC) committed $25 million to build a new fiber network in New York City to better serve its business customer base.

One recipient of TWC's recent fiber network drive is the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN). At that time, TWCBC was in the process of completing a multimillion-dollar fiber build to serve tenants of housed in the 300-acre Brooklyn Navy Yard business complex.

As the complex's first tenants to use the TWC fiber connection, HITN said it is "utilizing the technology to improve and enhance its overall business operations, as well as to transport and deliver its online and television-based educational programming to viewers across the U.S. and Puerto Rico."

For more:
- The Next Web has this article
- here's ConnectNYC's post

Related article:
Time Warner Cable targets business customers with $25M fiber network in NYC