Monday, January 14, 2013

Google Will Provide Free Wi-Fi For An Entire NYC Neighborhood

I can’t remember who first instilled this bit of advice to me, but I’ve never forgotten it and it is never not true: the best neighborhoods to live in in any city are the neighborhoods where lots of gay people live. They are always and without fail the cleanest, the prettiest, and the most culturally diverse and stimulating. They’re also increasingly the most technologically advanced, thanks to stuff like this…

Google Inc. (GOOG), the world’s biggest Internet-search company, plans to offer free wireless Internet access in parts of New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, creating the largest public outdoor network in the city.

The Wi-Fi network, which doesn’t require a password, is available today, Google said in a statement…Google has been working with New York to foster a technology hotbed in the city. Last year it agreed to donate office space to Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology for an engineering school while the institutions build a permanent home on Roosevelt Island.

“New York is determined to become the world’s leading digital city, and universal access to high-speed Internet is one of the core building blocks of that vision,” Bloomberg said at the Manhattan news conference. “Free Wi-Fi across this part of Chelsea takes us another step closer to that goal.”

The new network is part of an effort to cultivate Silicon Alley, a concentration of startups in Manhattan. Wi-Fi will be available to thousands of New Yorkers between Gansevoort Street and 19th Street from 8th Avenue to the West Side Highway, according to a statement.

Bloomberg reports that the network “will cost $115,000 to build and $45,000 a year to maintain. Google will cover two-thirds of those costs, with Chelsea Improvement Co., a nonprofit neighborhood development group, paying the rest.” The network will remain in place for at least two years.

I don’t know about you, but I’d sure as hell consider moving to a neighborhood that had free wi-fi wherever I went. Hell, that’d be AWESOME!

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