Gigabit speeds are a big step closer to becoming a reality for Westchester County as a result of a major initiative announced last month by the mayors of White Plains, New Rochelle, Yonkers and Mount Vernon. In an effort organized by the Westchester Country Association (WCA), the county’s four largest cities announced the $750 million-dollar initiative, hailing it as the most significant and ambitious undertaking in more than a generation to secure the region’s economic future.
Cuddy & Feder has been playing a key role behind the scenes to help make this happen. We see this as a critical step to make the entire region a more attractive place, both for businesses and residents, yielding the next generation of growth in industries such as healthcare, education and manufacturing. High-speed connectivity is a linchpin in building the smart cities of tomorrow.
“What we’re learning is that digital infrastructure can be every bit as important as roads and bridges,” New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said at the packed press conference. “As we come to rely on high-speed access to information – whether for businesses or medical providers or residents – that kind of high-speed access is not going to be a luxury, it is going to be a requirement.”
Cuddy & Feder partner Chris Fisher, who is the WCA Broadband Technology Chair, has been instrumental in bringing the cities together and helping move the WCA plan forward. A recent survey conducted by the WCA and Cuddy & Feder found that Westchester business leaders considered infrastructure improvements, including high-speed Internet access, the #1 way local governments could improve the Westchester economy.
The WCA and four city public-private partnership kicked off with a compact signing that focuses on smart growth principles in transportation, housing and broadband. The Smart City Compact represents a unique structure and first in the nation approach as a means to have four cities collaborate on smart growth and smart city practices with the private sector.