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NYC to get fiber optic network, businesses to reap benefits

Small and midsize businesses will get a boost as Time Warner announces plans to bring a high-speed, fiber optic network to parts of New York City.

Small and midsize businesses will get a boost as Time Warner announces plans to bring a high-speed, fiber optic network to parts of New York City.

Businesses in New York City are about to get a hefty dose of fiber – that is, fiber optic cable. Time Warner Cable announced yesterday that it will be investing $25 million in 2012 to bring its high-speed fiber optic network to the Big Apple.

According to a press release, the initiative will help support established and emerging businesses in Manhattan and sections of Brooklyn. This is meant to further New York City's status as an attractive home for companies that rely heavily on advanced communications technologies.

"Today's announcement represents yet another achievement in Mayor Bloomberg's technology roadmap, equipping New York City to fulfill its digital potential. High-speed internet access via fiber-optic technology is the foundation of a thriving technology sector, qualified workforce and connected city," said Rachel Haot, New York City's Chief Digital Officer. "With Time Warner Cable's infrastructure investment, the City of New York takes a powerful step forwards to a future as the world's premiere digital City."

Time Warner says the network will allow users to enjoy speeds of 1 gigabyte per second or faster, and is drawing comparisons to the Google fiber optic network the internet search giant is rolling out in select test cities.

What does this mean for New York City and its small business landscape? With such network speeds, the area will be able to offer communications and computing advantages other startup hubs throughout the U.S. cannot.

New York IT consulting firms will likely be working in close concert with local businesses, as well as startups looking to move into the area, to develop strategies for taking full advantage of the fiber optic network's capabilities. The next several months could see a surge of economic growth for "The City That Never Sleeps."