First Kansas City, now New York! Google has announced plans to offer free Wi-Fi to some parts of the Manhattan area.
The plan is to rollout the Wi-Fi in the Southwest Chelsea area making it available in outdoor and public spaces.
This isn’t Google’s first foray into providing Internet, in November when shared news of the launch of Google Fiber in Kansas City, high-speed broadband for many Google customers. As well as offering free wireless to users in its hometown of Mountain View, California.
However, this offering in a New York is a different kettle of fish – free Internet to potentially millions of users. This free Wi-Fi will be available from Gansevoort Street to 19th Street, between Eighth Avenue and the West Side Highway (including the Chelsea Triangle, 14th Street Park, and Gansevoort Plaza). According to Google, the network is the largest contiguous wireless grid in New York City.
New York Senator Charles Schumer welcomed the news:
Each day access to the Internet becomes more and more important to finding a good job or getting a good education, and this neighborhood-wide wireless network will provide that resource to hundreds of thousands.
This cutting edge wireless network will help to cement New York’s reputation as a leader in technological development, will help the city continue to attract business and grow our booming Silicon Alley, and will take us one step closer to our goal of becoming the most well connected city in America.
Part of the decision to offer free wi-fi centered on the fact that Google 2nd biggest global office is on Eighth Avenue and houses more than 3,000 employees. So I guess the free wi-fi is really for them and neighbours simply get to reap the rewards also which includes more than 2,000 residents of the Fulton Houses, the 5,000-plus student population in Chelsea.
According to CBS, the network will cost $115,000 to set up and $45,000 a year to operate and Google hopes to roll out similar opportunities to other cities in the near future.