Politicians like to portray themselves as allies of the tech industry.

Established high-tech companies and pioneering startups provide goods and services that are wildly popular with the general public. These firms are propelled by innovative technologies that are embraced as way to improve the everyday lives of constituents, and in some cases even to make government bureaucracies more efficient. Their brands symbolize the forward-thinking approaches that elected officials want to associate themselves with. And increasingly, the entrepreneurs and executives that are driving the digital economy are demonstrating their influence in the public sector through massive campaign contributions and small armies of lobbyists.

Of course, there are times when elected officials and leaders in the tech industry don’t play so well together. While New York has a vibrant tech sector that has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, disruptive companies like Uber and Airbnb present a challenge to their more traditional competitors and have chafed against regulations and resistance from lawmakers. And while officials have pledged to expand high-speed broadband internet to every New Yorker, providers have not always kept up their end of the bargain. 

In this special section on technology and telecommunications, we delve into these issues and more.