Time Warner Cable's business division announced Tuesday that it expects to invest $25 million in 2012 to expand its fiber-optic network in New York City -- well exceeding the MSO's obligations under its current franchise agreement with the city.
The MSO committed to spending at least $1.2 million per year on fiber buildouts under its franchise-agreement renewal with New York City approved last year. TWC is obligated to install at least 20 miles of fiber per year in underserved commercial/industrial areas over the franchise term, which runs through 2020, and the operator committed to building out connectivity to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
According to Time Warner Cable, its fiber network for businesses provides dedicated Internet connections of up to 1 Gigabit per second -- and faster -- and can deliver voice, data, TV and video-transport services.
TWC hosted a press conference Tuesday at the headquarters of the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN) at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where TWC Business Class is finishing a multimillion-dollar investment to provide fiber-based connectivity to tenants of the 300-acre business complex. HITN is one of the complex's first fiber clients and is using the network to transport and deliver online and TV educational programming to viewers across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
"We are very pleased to work with the City of New York to make significant investments to ensure that this city has the technology infrastructure to successfully compete in a worldwide marketplace," Ken Fitzpatrick, president of Time Warner Cable Business Class, East Region, said in a statement. "Our fiber-optic network provides dedicated Internet access at incredible speeds and high-bandwidth capabilities to serve the communications needs of any business."
TWCBC also announced that it will build a "learning lab," accessible to the public, to be housed in the employment center of the nonprofit Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. The NYC franchise terms called for Time Warner Cable to establish at least four community broadband access centers per year in collaboration with nonprofit organizations.
Andrew Kimball, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp., commented, "Time Warner Cable's investment reflects the growing need for increased technology and speed for the 275 existing and growing businesses in the Yard. With this growth, comes jobs and the Learning Lab grant will support our efforts to prepare local residents for jobs in the Navy Yard."
The learning lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard will be the second such facility that TWC has built in Brooklyn, following the opening of a center earlier this month at Good Shepherd Services in Park Slope. The MSO has opened six such labs in New York City and plans to open have 40 such facilities open during the next several years, per its franchise agreement.
New York City officials and local politicians praised Time Warner Cable's network investment to serve businesses and community groups.
"The Bloomberg Administration's commitment to greater digital inclusion is exemplified each day -- from partnering with private-sector partners on infrastructure investments to expansion of broadband accessibility in public computing centers across the five boroughs," Rahul Merchant, commissioner of the city's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, said in a statement. "The Brooklyn Navy Yard represents the latest advance on these efforts, simultaneously connecting an underserved 'digital island' with advanced communications technology for the businesses that require it, as well as setting the stage for increased public access to help further bridge the digital divide."
Added New York City chief digital officer Rachel Haot, "High-speed Internet access via fiber-optic technology is the foundation of a thriving technology sector, qualified workforce and connected city. With Time Warner Cable's infrastructure investment, the City of New York takes a powerful step forwards to a future as the world's premiere digital city."
Other TWC Business Class fiber-optic network projects in the city include recently completed connectivity to the Empire State Building and fiber extensions to business locations including the World Trade Center, the Flatiron District, areas of Midtown and throughout the Financial District. In Brooklyn, in addition to the Navy Yards, Time Warner Cable is making investments to serve other business locations such as Brooklyn Tech Triangle, the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Industry City.
Time Warner Cable Business Class's service area in the New York metropolitan area includes Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and western Brooklyn; Mt. Vernon, N.Y.; and Bergen and Hudson Counties in New Jersey.