(The following is a reformatted version of a press release      
issued by the Office of the Mayor of New York and received via  
electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the sender.       
Michael Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of          
Bloomberg, LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News)             
April 2, 2013 
Initiative Fosters Competition among Providers and Minimizes Traffic and 
Environmental Impacts Associated with More Traditional Methods of Digging in 
City Streets – at No Taxpayer Expense 
New York City Chief Information and Innovation Officer Rahul N. Merchant, 
Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development 
Robert K. Steel, Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, 
Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky and Verizon Executive 
Director for National Operations Chris Levendos today announced the launch of 
an innovative pilot program to speed the deployment of fiber optic cabling to 
businesses and residences across the five boroughs while minimizing 
construction time, environmental impact and cost. Known as “micro-trenching,” 
this initiative demonstrates and tests the effectiveness of installing small 
conduits within the edges of City sidewalks to house fiber optic cabling, which 
can be used to deliver voice, Internet and cable television service. The excess 
capacity provided by micro-trenching will be available for use by other 
communications industry providers, as well as by City agencies, at no cost for 
the duration of the pilot. Based upon the results of the pilot – the first of 
its kind in any large city in the country – New York City may expand the use of 
micro-trenching citywide as a construction option available for communications 
industry providers. Micro-trenching is the latest initiative in the City’s 
comprehensive effort to expand broadband connectivity and bolster its growing 
tech sector. 
“Broadband is the lifeblood of many New Yorkers and businesses, fundamentally 
transforming the ways in which they interact with and thrive in the 
world-at-large,” said Chief Information and Innovation Officer Merchant. “Now 
we’re extending that transformation to underserved areas across the five 
boroughs. Whether it’s restoring service to storm-ravaged areas or extending it 
to new ones, the innovative micro-trenching pilot will allow the City to speed 
deployment of fiber optics while minimizing the impacts to the very communities 
it’s helping to improve. And the excess capacity for competing providers means 
that New Yorkers can be afforded true options in cost and connectivity as the 
reach of this vital infrastructure continues to expand.” 
“Micro-trenching is yet another innovative way we’re making it faster and more 
efficient to invest in critical infrastructure, like broadband, that is 
becoming increasingly necessary to live and work in New York City,” said Deputy 
Mayor Holloway. “This pilot will not only connect more New Yorkers faster, it 
will enable small broadband providers to take advantage of the infrastructure 
Verizon is putting in place – and that means more choices and more competition.” 
“To continue its development as a tech center, New York City needs the fiber 
infrastructure to support it,” said Deputy Mayor Steel. “Micro-trenching is an 
innovative way of building that infrastructure more quickly, at lower cost and 
with less disruption. This will facilitate increased investment by the private 
sector, which will encourage competition and lower prices, benefiting New York 
City residents, visitors, and companies.” 
“Our streets don’t just move people, they’re also conduits for our city’s vast 
telecommunications, water and utility network,” said Transportation 
Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “Whether it’s coordinating construction work so that 
streets aren’t ripped up unnecessarily or making sure that contractors do a 
good job restoring streets in the first place, we’ve raised the bar on street 
repair standards and micro-trenching is yet another strategy to help minimize 
the impact of utility work on our roads.” 
“While New York City’s emergence as a global hub of technology and innovation 
is a promising sign for the future of our economy, we must continue to tackle 
certain challenges in order to stay competitive,” said NYC Economic Development 
Corporation President Pinsky. “This initiative strongly complements the City’s 
existing suite of programs to enhance our broadband infrastructure and has 
far-reaching potential to expand high-speed connectivity for both businesses 
and residents alike. Micro-trenching not only will save critical time and 
money, but it will also help make the New York City more resilient.” 
“Internet connectivity is the foundation of a truly digital city, and this 
exciting micro-trenching pilot represents an innovative and significant step 
forward in our digital roadmap for New York City,” said Chief Digital Officer 
Rachel Haot. “Greater fiber-optic infrastructure will connect more New Yorkers 
to crucial information and services that improve their daily lives, and is a 
powerful investment in the future of New York City’s economy. Today’s 
announcement of expanded access will help to fuel New York City’s thriving 
technology sector, and further underscores the City’s commitment to innovation.” 
“Micro-trenching has been a method used more commonly within roadways in 
suburban or rural areas,” said Verizon Executive Director Levendos. “In highly 
populated areas, such as New York City, it’s extremely difficult, if not 
impossible, to deploy fiber traditionally without causing major disruption to 
city residents, commuters and small business owners. Verizon recognized the 
opportunity to leverage the benefits of micro-trenching to improve and expand 
broadband capability across all five boroughs quicker with much less 
disturbance to the City. We applaud the City for its support of this 
Now underway at 12 sites across the five boroughs, the micro-trenching 
agreement between the City’s Department of Information Technology and 
Telecommunications, Department of Transportation and Verizon comes at no 
taxpayer cost, and will assess the feasibility of micro-trenching as a citywide 
fiber-optic cable deployment method. Under the conditions of the pilot program, 
Verizon is installing conduits and fiber in pre-approved locations in the five 
boroughs along and below City sidewalks via micro-trenching. Also known as “saw 
cutting,” micro-trenching allows the placement of flexible conduit and 
fiber-optic cable in narrow, shallow trenches utilizing expansion joints 
between sidewalk flags and between the curb and the sidewalk flags. 
As part of the agreement, the excess capacity provided by the installed duct 
systems – at least four pathways on low-density residential blocks and six 
pathways in other areas – will be available for use by other communications 
industry providers, as well as by City agencies, at no cost for the duration of 
the pilot program. More information on the pilot, as well as instructions for 
requesting access to the new conduits available via micro-trenching, can be 
found on 
As New York City’s technology sector continues to grow, the demand for 
ubiquitous, reliable and competitive broadband connectivity for commercial 
broadband users increases with it – especially for small businesses and 
start-ups outside the city’s central business districts. City agencies play a 
vital role in this regard, whether by encouraging private investment in 
underserved areas or by facilitating use of the City’s streets for the 
installation and maintenance of fiber-optic cables that provide broadband 
services to these areas. 
Unlike traditional street trenching, micro-trenching is a cost-effective method 
of deploying fiber optic cabling as it allows quick deployment of fiber optics 
with both minimal disruption to street and roadway traffic and minimal 
interference with public utility infrastructure. In the process of installing 
and maintaining micro-trenching facilities, for example, Verizon will not cut, 
damage, or otherwise interfere with or affect tree roots, any light poles, 
utility poles or street furniture. Upon the completion of work at each site, 
the company will fully restore all affected curbs, sidewalk slabs and street 
surfaces to their original condition. 
Today’s effort builds on the suite of initiatives announced by the City last 
year to significantly expand broadband connectivity. These include ConnectNYC, 
a competition to build out fiber wiring for commercial and industrial 
buildings; a grading program for connectivity in New York City buildings; a 
crowd-sourced digital map highlighting wired buildings citywide; a streamlined 
process for broadband-related permitting as well as exploring the streamlining 
of regulatory issues; and a competition to develop mobile applications to help 
residents access critical services provided by the City and community-based 
These efforts also include – pursuant to the City’s recent cable television 
renewal agreements with Time Warner Cable and Cablevision – the expansion of 
advanced fiber optic network technology to un-served commercial buildings 
citywide as well as to 20 new miles of currently un-served city blocks per year 
through July 2020. The first major milestone in this regard, deployment of 
fiber-optic cabling to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, was completed last August. 
Contact:          Kamran Mumtaz                         (212) 788-2958 
Nick Sbordone (CIIO / DoITT)          (212) 788-6602 
Seth Solomonow (DOT)                  (212) 839-4850 
Patrick Muncie (NYCEDC)               (212) 312-3523 
John Bonomo (Verizon)                 (212) 321-8033 
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