New York’s Tech Transformation Must Serve the Public Interest

Bill Gates (left) former CEO of Microsoft, Eric Schmidt (Right) Former CEO of Google
  • All New Yorkers should have access to 5G Internet bandwidth at affordable rates. It should be free for the truly disadvantaged. Access should be rolled out first to rural regions and public housing authorities, not last, as typically happens with new technology.
  • All recommendations must explain how New Yorkers living in or near poverty anywhere in the state will gain access to the relevant technology. A Chautauqua County patient of modest means ought to benefit from telemedicine as much as a wealthy Westchester resident.
  • Recommendations for remote learning must include detailed blueprints. The role of teachers and other educators, the technology they will need and how the state will provide it cost-effectively must be described. Horror stories of teachers paying for basic school supplies out of their own income must not be replaced with tales of coerced purchases of expensive technology. Training must be provided for educators and parents.
  • If remote learning is to take place at scale, ample provisions must be made for a range of services provided by schools: socialization, vaccinations and health care, nutritious meals, guidance counseling, athletics and team sports, music, theater, and other group activities, for example.
  • Small businesses must have competitive access to technology, and we must not promote policies that create corporate concentration, a tendency particularly pronounced in technology-intensive industries that leads to monopolistic behavior. (See Microsoft, Google).
  • The commissions should recognize that New York has an underachieving competitive corridor stretching from Albany to Buffalo through Syracuse and Rochester that possesses the elements for successful technology centers of excellence. The hardware, software, and related ecosystems the new world requires should be built locally. They can be with the right investments.

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