City Hall hopeful Maya Wiley claims she delivered “universal broadband access” to New Yorkers as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s counsel, but a new report reveals that her deal to convert old telephone booths into free Wi-Fi hotspots fell far short of its goal.
“The initial deal that CityBridge struck with the City six years ago” — which was spearheaded by Wiley — “contained some wildly unrealistic assumptions,” Technology Commissioner Jessie Tisch told the City Council during her budget testimony.
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The effort was initially projected to generate some $3 billion over 15 years — but has only generated about 10 percent of the expected revenues, despite being seven years into the contract, Tisch revealed.
The massive shortfalls left CityBridge deeply in debt with the city and “with limited operating funds that were key to building out the kiosks and keeping the ‘lights on,'” causing the expansion to stall.
Non-profit investigative news website The City first reported Tisch’s remarks.
Wiley inked a deal with a group of firms called CityBridge in 2014. The umbrella company was supposed to install 7,500 kiosk hotspots over 10 years across the city. So far there are just over 1,800 stations.
Most were placed in high-density parts of the city that attracted advertisers and not in poorer outer-borough areas where over 1 million New Yorkers lack internet access, a problem that was exacerbated during the
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