New York City Mayor announces new free public Wi-Fi networks across all five boroughsBy Justin Kahn
Startups have been heading to New York City to set up shop in growing numbers over the last little while, and now Mayor Bloomberg is planning to bring extended Wi-Fi connection city wide in order to maintain the growth.
The city announced a plan today that will see free Wi-Fi made available across all five boroughs by December. The networks will be available to the general public and specifically located in the city's growing commercial centers.
"If New York City is going remain competitive in the global economy, we must find ways to support the entrepreneurs who are driving technological advances and creating jobs," Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement. "With these new initiatives, we are making targeted investments to improve our city's wireless infrastructure and expand Internet access."
The announcement comes alongside another network initiative the Mayor's office is enacting called WiredNYC. "We're also measuring how connected our city's buildings are and sharing that information, so that entrepreneurs are empowered to make the best decisions about where to open a business," said Mayor Bloomberg. Wired NYC is a rating system that will rank buildings based on broadband connectivity and infrastructure, data that can then be used for emerging startups to take into consideration when finding locations in the city. Real estate agents can also use this data along with the new free Wi-Fi support as selling points for their properties.
In Brooklyn, the new free Wi-Fi will be located in "downtown Brooklyn", the Fulton Street corridor, BAM Cultural District and Brownsville. The free connectivity will also extend through Tumblr and Spotify's home turf in Manhattan's Flatiron District, along with areas in lower Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.