The NYC Connected Broadband Data Dig

Calling all civic tech enthusiasts, data scientists, analysts, students and others who want to play with *new* data to find insights that could help New York City!




For the first time ever, the City is inviting the public to use broadband data to help make New York City the most connected, equitable city in the world. The internet has become essential to almost every part of our lives, but our experience of it is not the same in every part of the city. Participants in the NYC Connected Broadband Data Dig, hosted by the Office of the Mayor and Brooklyn Public Library with support from the Ford Foundation and Horowitz Research, will develop insights into the current state of broadband in New York City, identify the effects of existing inequities and recommend ways to measure progress towards universal broadband. 

Twenty-one percent of New York City households currently do not have Internet service at home. Of households below the poverty line, 35 percent do not have Internet access at home. The administration has launched a number of initiatives to deliver affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband service to homes, businesses, and public spaces, including taking the historic step of establishing a line for broadband in the capital budget with a commitment of $70 million over 10 years:

  • Announced a commitment to deliver free, high-speed internet to over 21,000 public housing residents.
  • The City committed $650 million to help schools upgrade their broadband internet access and purchase new hardware.
  • The City launched LinkNYC, which is on its way to being the largest and fastest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world, with at least 7,500 LinkNYC kiosks across all boroughs, each with free high-speed Wi-Fi, free phone calls, free phone charging, and ready access to City information.
  • The City's three library systems loaned 10,000 free mobile hotspots to New Yorkers who otherwise may have had not internet connection in their homes. With the Department of Education, the libraries will loan 5,000 free hotspots to students and their families.
  • The City led a coalition of mayors in successfully advocating for modernization of the federal Lifeline program to subsidize resdiential broadband service. This benefit will soon be available to eligible households. 
  • The City successfully advocated for new owners of New York City's cable systems to provide discount broadband options for low-income residents. These discount options will soon be available to eligible households. 

What we need your help with:

  • What public data related to broadband should the City use to inform policymaking and track progress, and how should the City analyze the data?
  • What factors and effects correlate to varying levels of broadband availability or broadband adoption?
  • What City assets or other resources can be used most effectively to address broadband inequities? 

We're interested in answers to these questions and other insights that you can share by mashing up these new datasets with what is on the New York City Open Data Portal and other public data sets. 

Datasets for the Broadband Data Dig will be made available by November 9th. The data for this event consists of a block-level look at broadband availability in New York City (from Federal data), as well as development-by-development information about broadband at the New York City Housing Authority. We welcome additional data sets for this event, please email if you have a dataset you'd like to contribute. 


              9:00am - Arrival & sign in / Light breakfast available

              9:30am - Kickoff session

              10:00am - Team networking / Hacking begins

              12pm - Lunch will be provided

               3:00pm - Submission deadline for analysis & snack

               4:00pm - Short presentations of analyses

               4:30pm - Judges deliberate

               5:00pm - Awards presented

               5:15pm - Networking / refreshments served

               6:00pm - Event concludes

Sign up:

The venue has limited capacity, so make sure you sign up on EventBrite and register on this DevPost page. 

For questions about this event please email:

This event is hosted by the Office of the Mayor and Brooklyn Public Library with support from the Ford Foundation and Horowitz Research.


  • You will need to have an EventBrite ticket
  • You will need to attend the event in person
  • By registering on DevPost prior to the event you are accepting the Rules of the event as outlined on DevPost
  • You will need to provide your own computer and any software you might need

Hackathon Sponsors


Opportunity to pitch your "data digs" and recommendations to City Officials (3)

The winning analyses will get the opportunity to pitch their "data digs" and recommendations to City Officials including Dr. Amen Ra Mashariki, Chief Data Analytics Officer; Joshua Breitbart, Senior Advisor for Broadband in the Mayor's Office; and Alphonso Jenkins, Deputy Commissioner for Telecommunications Planning at the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT).

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

  • You will need to pre-register on EventBrite and DevPost


Ryan Gerety

Ryan Gerety
Technology Fellow, Ford Foundation

Joshua Breitbart

Joshua Breitbart
Senior Advisor for Broadband, NYC Mayor's Office

Jesse Montero

Jesse Montero
Director at Brooklyn Public Library

Judging Criteria

  • Creativity & Originality - 25%
  • Presentation (visual and oral) - 25%
  • Potential Benefit to the Public / Analysis' Alignment with the Administration's Broadband Goals - 50%

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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