Free Wi-Fi coming to commercial districts in all five boroughs

free public wifi nyc expansion
Expected to launch in December, free public Wi-Fi is coming to 10 commercial districts throughout the five boroughs, officials announced Monday.
Credit: Ed Yourdon/flickr

The city is hoping to make it easier to surf the web while navigating city streets.

Expected to launch in December, free public Wi-Fi is coming to 10 commercial districts throughout the five boroughs, officials announced Monday.

“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 Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

The hotspots, which will run for at least three years, were chosen through consultants focusing on growing technology centers like Long Island City as well as more established hubs like the Flatiron District.

Cultural and educational centers, as well as low- and middle-income areas, were also targeted for Wi-Fi.

“Staying connected is critical to success in the 21st century knowledge economy – whether you are building an office for your tech startup or trying to take your small business to the next level,” Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said in a statement.

As part of these efforts, the city also launched WiredNYC, a rating platform that evaluates the broadband connectivity and infrastructure of various office buildings.

Acting like an “LEED for broadband,” the program is meant to encourage use of leading broadband technologies.

Ten of the city’s largest real estate owners have already agreed to participate in WiredNYC, with more than 150 total buildings signed up.

Officials hope WiredNYC will serve as an example to other cities, and organizers want to expand the program outside of New York by the end of 2014.

Here’s a list of the new hotspots:

Brooklyn

  • Fulton Street corridor (between Rockwell Place and Classon Avenue)
  • BAM Cultural District (Fort Greene and Clinton Hill)
  • Brownsville (area bordered by Sutter Avenue, Mother Gaston Boulevard, Pitkin Avenue and Howard Avenue)
  • Downtown Brooklyn (area bordered by Schermerhorn Street, Cadman Plaza West, Flatbush Avenue and Tillary Street and select public spaces in the NYCHA Ingersoll and Whitman houses)

Manhattan

  • Flatiron District (23rd Street from Sixth Avenue to Third Avenue)
  • Water Street corridor (between Whitehall and Fulton streets, extending to some side streets including Stone Street and Front Street)
  • East River waterfront in Lower Manhattan (also along piers)
  • 125th Street corridor in Harlem (from Broadway to Second Avenue)
  • Roosevelt Island (between Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge and Roosevelt Island Bridge)

Queens

  • Long Island City (area bordered by Queens Plaza, Jackson and Vernon boulevards)

Staten Island

  • St. George commercial district (Hyatt Street between St. Marks Place and Stuyvesant Place)

Bronx

  • East Fordham Road (from Grand Concourse to Arthur Avenue)

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders


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