Google announced its free wireless Internet access to parts of New York City, making it the largest public outdoor network in the Big Apple.
The wi-fi network starts Tuesday and doesn't need a password. The Chelsea neighborhood where the wireless hotspot will be is near its Google offices, according to Bloomberg News.
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“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,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters at a press conference in Manhattan Tuesday. “Free Wi-Fi across this part of Chelsea takes us another step closer to that goal.”
New York has been working on becoming more of a technological hub, and the wi-fi will help grow its Silicon Alley, a group of startups in NYC. The wireless service will be available between Gansevoort Street and 19th Street from 8th Avenue to the West Side Highway, Bloomberg reported.
While the two-year pilot project network cost $115,000 to build and about $45,000 to maintain each year, Google plans to cover two-thirds of the cost with the remainder paid for by a neighborhood improvement group. However, there will be no advertising except notification that Google is the wireless provider.
It isn't the first time Google has offered free wi-fi at its offices. It also has free wireless at its Mountain View headquarters and has been experimenting with a high-speed fiber network in Kansas City, Mo. Previously the search titan has also given free wi-fi away at major airports, all seemingly for goodwill? Sure, and all the publicity that comes from it.