Google launches free Wi-Fi in NYC neighborhood

Google is helping one New York neighborhood connect to free Wi-Fi.

Google announced today that it has wired New York City's Chelsea neighborhood for free Wi-Fi, the largest outdoor public network in the city.

The network covers about 10 blocks surrounding the Google's New York offices where it employs about 3,000 people.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the network will improve one of the city's vital pockets of tech companies:

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.

A portion on the High Line Park will also be covered.

The network will cost $115,000 to set up and $45,000 a year to maintain. Google is partnering with the Chelsea Improvement Company to cover the costs.

“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 said in news conference. “Free Wi-Fi across this part of Chelsea takes us another step closer to that goal.”

Mayor Bloomberg said that he hopes to one day have a citywide Wi-Fi network.

Photo: Flickr/igrigorik

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