Ed Scoop NYC Broadband Initiative Looks to Eliminate the Homework Gap by Kate Roddy

Ed Scoop
NYC Broadband Initiative Looks to Eliminate the Homework Gap
Kate Roddy

New York City officials recently released a request for information (RFI) to collect insights on developing plans for the deployment of universal broadband throughout the city — an initiative that could have a considerable effect on the area’s homework gap.

The gap exists for students who use internet-connected devices to complete their work while at school but who lack internet access at home. The Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer says it wants to ensure connectivity for every resident and business in New York City by 2025 — and it expects to see substantial benefits for students along the way.

“I think the ideal end state is that every kid in public school who goes home with digital homework has the same opportunity to compete in and outside the classroom,” said Miguel Gamiño, the city's chief technology officer. “Students could come home and not have to worry about their internet connection being a barrier to compete with their classmates or to complete their homework, and I would like for that to be the case for every New Yorker.”

Many local leaders have voiced excitement for the plan's potential impact on schools.

“Access to reliable, high-speed internet is no longer a luxury. In 2017, it is a necessity,” said Ben Kallos, member of the New York City Council. “Whether you are a small business competing for customers or a high school student doing homework, access to broadband could make the difference between landing a big contract or not, or getting an A on a research paper. I applaud this administration's efforts as New York City works toward universal broadband access."