Rochester, NY

Mayor Lovely Warren

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On Rochester

“Lowering the cost barrier to Internet access for families is essential if we are to close the digital divide and help them rise out of poverty,” said Mayor Warren. “Internet access is increasingly essential for students to do schoolwork, for job seekers to research and apply for jobs, and for individuals and families to pay bills and remain connected with society. Giving our citizens access to the tools they need to be successful creates better educational opportunities that lead to increased employment and safer, more vibrant neighborhoods for our citizens.”

On Next Century Cities

“The City of Rochester, NY, is delighted to join Next Century Cities (NCC) and its 212 member cities because we share their goal of universal access to affordable and reliable high-speed broadband. Collaborating and sharing best practices with the leadership of the other member cities of NCC is smart collaboration. Recent events have highlighted that internet access is essential, not optional, and that our cities need the infrastructure to ensure that all of our citizens have access they can afford. We must take into account that the member cities have different configurations, resource endowments, and community needs as we develop solutions that work best for our different communities. We look forward to working with NCC to expand internet access to the citizens of all of our cities.”

What Rochester is working on

The City of Rochester has and continues to execute and adopt forward-looking policies and agreements enabling greater broadband coverage. The City currently has a contract in place with a private communications infrastructure company, which provides for the construction of extra conduit capacity when the company runs their own conduit and fiber. This extra conduit becomes City property, allowing for the sale, lease, or use of the asset, with on-going maintenance to City fibers and facilities provided at no additional cost. The City has updated Master License Agreements with numerous telecommunication providers including the fastest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) provider in New York State.

In addition to these partnerships, all City reconstruction project designs (street, tree-lawn, curb & sidewalk) must include the installation of conduit/broadband, resulting in the incorporation of the telecommunications component into the project design prior to public bid.  Rochester’s ordinance facilitates the expansion of valuable assets across the city: preserving existing infrastructure, allowing the provision of in-kind services in lieu of fee payments, and developing opportunities to leverage these provisions. The vision is to ensure network extensions for the benefit of all citizens, in particular, low-income neighborhoods, and bridge the digital divide, i.e., ensure maximum connectivity and universal access.  

RECENT CITY TELECOM RELATED ACTIONS:

  • The creation of a City division to address these issues, 
  • Director of Telecommunications
  • Community Liaison,
  • The passage and implementation of the Telecommunications Ordinance, 
  • Expand Permits Staff: address increased work load from telecom/wireless network expansion,
  • The registration of all Telecommunications providers within the city, 
  • Creation & Coordination with Dig Once/GIS implementation
  • Catalogue of all available resources within the Right of Way (ROW)
  • Provider Forums re: in kind service payments, public private partnerships, et. al.
  • Collaborative Projects/Partnerships/Philanthropic Donations
  • Expansion & marketing of broadband discount programs
  • The requirement for conduit/fiber installation on all road construction projects,
  • The performance of an Inventory Analysis of Telecom Assets, 
  • Master Plan 2034, Community Collaboration & Outreach, and 
  • The establishment of the Smart City Committee & Working Group