Flume Internet takes aim at closing NYC digital divide

"From small acorns mighty oaks grow" could serve as the mantra for Flume Internet.

Flume has launched this week with the goal of providing fast, affordable internet connections to at least 600,000 low-income residents in New York City, including to those in public housing. Multicultural-owned Flume was co-founded by Brandon Gibson and Prashanth Vijay.

Gibson, a New York City-based real estate developer, has worked with various community groups to help foster a better quality of life for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents, according to Flume's press release.

Prashanth, who has a background building broadband networks for startups and Verizon, is working on bringing GPON and XGS-PON-based internet services to locations that Verizon and Charter have overlooked.

Flume is targeting all five New York City boroughs and also plans to deploy its broadband service in East Hartford, Connecticut in the spring of next year to provide fiber-based access to an additional 25,000 households. 

For public housing in the New York area, Flume Access' internet speed provides symmetrical speeds up of 200 Mbps. For non-public housing and the greater service area, Flume is looking at provisioning symmetrical speeds of 1-Gig. Flume, which is currently in the seed stage of its funding, plans to do its own fiber installs.

RELATED: Report—Verizon, NYC settle six-year broadband dustup

On Tuesday, Verizon settled a six-year dispute with the city of New York by agreeing to wire 500,000 additional homes for high-speed internet service, which could mean more competition for Flume in underserved areas of New York City.

"We're excited to see that the city is taking an active role in expanding access for those currently without it, and speeding up the process for existing service," said Gibson, in an email to FierceTelecom.