New York City’s digital innovation program, NYCx, has named three companies that will test 5G wireless solutions that could be used to increase high speed connectivity throughout the city.
The tech companies are finalists in the first NYCx Moonshot Challenge, a contest announced in October that pushes companies to demonstrate the best 5G solution to provide affordable high-speed wireless to Governors Island, a 172-acre tourist destination in New York Harbor, by the end of 2018.
“I’m excited to see new tools and technologies breaking ground in New York and helping us move a step closer to achieving the Mayor’s goal of affordable, high-quality, high-speed internet for all New Yorkers,” NYC CTO Miguel Gamiño said in a statement. “This Moonshot Challenge is helping us engage the right experts to accelerate connectivity, establish fair opportunity for everyone to participate in today’s world, and make tech work for people.”
Each of the companies, which include the wireless infrastructure company Neutral Connect Networks, the 5G provider Fiberless Networks and the low-income wireless service Edge Fibernet, will be awarded up to $25,000 to showcase their technology. The winner will receive an opportunity to accept a potential contract to provide ongoing services for the city on the island.
From the three solutions, Gamiño, whose office manages NYCx, also said the city expects to learn of better strategies to leverage the new connectivity to develop smart city tools. Michael Samuelian, the Trust for Governors Island president, said the work represents a significant upgrade to the island’s infrastructure.
“As the transformation of Governors Island continues with more and more New Yorkers delighting in all it has to offer, we have a unique opportunity to bring creative and innovative amenities to our visitors and community,” Samuelian said in a release. “We are thrilled to partner with these entrepreneurs in unlocking the potential of next generation connectivity technologies throughout New York City’s public spaces.
A date has not yet been set to announce the winner, but Gamiño’s office said that the challenge is expected to continue “over the next few months” until a clear winner emerges.