Chelsea’s nearly neighborhoodwide Wi-Fi builds on efforts by the Bloomberg administration to make the city more tech friendly, even in outdoor spaces. AT&T currently provides free Wi-Fi service in 20 city parks, and other private companies are laying fiber and opening learning labs that give residents access to computers.
The network cost $115,000 to set up and will need another $45,000 to run, with Google picking up the tab.
The secured network will also be used by businesses, residents and students in the area, and will cover the outdoor areas of the Fulton Houses, a housing project owned by the New York City Housing Authority.
Google worked with Boingo this year to provide free Wi-Fi at more than 4,000 hotspots across America as part of a collaboration with Google Play. The Google sponsored Boingo Wi-Fi locations include 15 airports, such as New York’s John F. Kennedy, Chicago O’Hare and Seattle-Tacoma, Boingo-enabled Manhattan subway stations, and thousands of hotels, shopping malls, cafés and recreational areas. Boingo Wireless and Microsoft also sponsored free Wi-Fi access at high-traffic New York and San Francisco over the holidays.