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January 8, 2013

Google provides free public Wi-Fi in Chelsea, NYC

Google has rolled out free internet access to hundreds of thousands of people in NYC.

By Tineka Smith

The move by Google makes Chelsea the first neighbourhood in Manhattan with free internet access.

Google partnered with the City of New York’s department of information technology and telecommunications, the mayor’s office and Chelsea Improvement Company to provide the service.

"Google is proud to provide free Wi-Fi in the neighbourhood we have called home for over 6 years. This network will not only be a resource for the 2000+ residents of the Fulton Houses, it will also serve the 5,000+ student population of Chelsea as well as the hundreds of workers, retail customers and tourists who visit our neighbourhood every day," said Ben Fried, Chief Information Officer for Google.

Google had partnered with Boingo Wireless in the summer of 2012 to offer free wireless access at NYC subway stations and Boingo hot zones across Manhattan.

Google’s latest move could help the company become a mainstream internet service provider.

"New York is determined to become the world’s leading digital city, and universal access to high-speed Internet is one the core building blocks of that vision," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Thanks to Google, free Wi-Fi across this part of Chelsea takes us another step closer to that goal."

The free Wi-Fi network, designed by Sky-Packets will span between Gansevoort St. and 19 St. and from 8th Ave to the West Side Highway. The network also reaches public places like the Chelsea Triangle, 14th Street Park and Gansevoort Plaza.

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The network will also cover several of the local public schools.

"Each day access to the Internet becomes more and more important to finding a good job or getting a good education, and this neighbourhood-wide wireless network will provide that resource to hundreds of thousands," said Senator Schumer. "This cutting edge wireless network will help to cement New York’s reputation as a leader in technological development and will help the city continue to attract business and grow our booming Silicon Alley."


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