top of page

Universal Solicitation for Broadband: NYCHA

Focus on expanding free or low-cost internet to NYCHA residents

May 26, 2020

New York City is committed to the goal of universal broadband, as described in the New York City Internet Master Plan (2020). In light of COVID-related health and safety guidance from the City and public health officials, internet access in the home has become an even more essential service, required for safe access to health care, continuation of employment and schooling, and connections to family and friends.

The Internet Master Plan includes a commitment to release a Universal Solicitation for Broadband (USB) to quickly and efficiently solicit innovative solutions from a broad range of market respondents. Building on Mayor de Blasio’s Equity Action Plan to Combat COVID-19 at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the City is releasing the first phase of the USB with a focus on expanding free or low-cost internet to NYCHA residents, specifically. ABOUT THE RFEI The initial phase of the USB, the NYCHA Rapid Response Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI), offers a unique opportunity for internet service providers, both large and small, with plans to rapidly close the digital divide in New York City to bring new service options to public housing communities while minimizing physical contact with residents. The goal of this RFEI is to identify ready-to-deploy ideas or pilot projects that will provide residents of NYCHA communities with free or reduced-cost internet connections. These options may range from new products and pricing, new service options with discounted rates for public housing residents, free Wi-Fi solutions that residents can reach from their homes, or other innovative approaches employing established or emerging technologies. Respondents will identify which communities they are able to serve almost immediately with their solutions and which City resources, if any, would be needed to do so.

Through this open request and interagency collaboration, New York City is committed to addressing the digital divide and building on the City’s progress toward sustaining a smart and equitable city.

The City invites internet service providers, innovative companies, community groups, and others to respond to the Universal Solicitation for Broadband: NYCHA Rapid Response RFEI. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until June 30, 2020. The City will review proposals and select those that best fit the City’s connectivity needs, and will work to launch them quickly for the benefit of NYCHA residents, many of whom are especially vulnerable during and in the immediate wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

The City invites ISPs, innovative companies, community groups, and others to respond.


This RFEI is designed to address the connectivity needs of New Yorkers who are currently without affordable broadband internet.




The New York City Economic Development Corporation (“NYCEDC”), on behalf of the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (“MOCTO”) and in collaboration with the New York Housing Authority ("NYCHA"), today released a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) to rapidly expand free and low-cost internet service for NYCHA residents. The City recognizes that a broadband connection is essential for teleworking, telehealth, information, and that broadband access across the City varies both in terms of quality and price. The impact of COVID-19 has further brought to light these disparities.

Industry leaders in broadband, internet service providers and community partners are encouraged to submit project ideas that could rapidly serve NYCHA residents with free or affordable internet options. The goal of this RFEI is to identify ready-to-deploy ideas or pilot projects that provide residents with internet access as soon as possible through licensing agreements to install on NYCHA property where feasible. If a respondent is looking for a collaborator or would like to be listed so others can contact them, please complete the “Partnership Contact List” form located at the bottom of this web page.

Through this open request and interagency collaboration, New York City is committed to addressing the digital divide and building on its goal towards sustaining a smart and equitable city.

Responses will be evaluated on the basis of factors stated in the RFEI which include but are not limited to the quality of the response and the quality and sustainability of the proposed concept.

It is the policy of NYCEDC to comply with all federal, state and City laws and regulations which prohibit unlawful discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status and other protected category and to take affirmative action in working with contracting parties to ensure certified Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) share in the economic opportunities generated by NYCEDC’s projects and initiatives. Inquiries

Respondents may submit questions and/or request clarifications from NYCEDC no later than 5pm on Friday, May 22, 2020. Questions regarding the subject matter of this RFEI should be directed to  For all questions that do not pertain to the subject matter of this RFEI, please email  Answers to all questions will be posted no later than Thursday, May 28, 2020, on this page.

Please note that after 5pm on Friday, May 22, 2020 the email address will remain open solely to answer questions regarding technical issues with the RFEI submission process.

Deadlines JUN 1, 2020 11:59 PMThe Round 1 Due Date for Responses is Monday, June 1, 2020, at 11:59pm.

Detailed submission guidelines and requirements are outlined in the RFEI, available as of Wednesday, May 20, 2020. To download a copy of the solicitation documents please visit  

Please note that Chrome Browser is the preferred method to upload your electronic responses to the current procurement. When uploading your response, please submit all documents in a single zip file labeled with your company name.JUN 30, 2020 11:59 PM M/WBE

Companies who have been certified with the New York City Department of Small Business Services as Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (“M/WBE”) are strongly encouraged to apply. To learn more about M/WBE certification and NYCEDC’s M/WBE program, please visit Vendor Resources

Because NYCEDC’s projects are generally funded with public funding sources, working with NYCEDC on many of our projects requires the completion and submission of certain forms and documents. Click here to register with PASSPort, a database of information of vendors who do business with NYC, learn how to obtain proof of insurance, download Doing Business Accountability project forms, and more.


  • NYCHA Buildings Listuploaded 5/20/2020

3 views0 comments


bottom of page