In an attempt to boost its prospects as an internet service provider, Google is cooperating with The Chelsea Improvement Company to bring free WiFi to everyone living or traveling through the New York City neighborhood. Announced on Tuesday, this initiative will make Chelsea the first neighborhood in Manhattan to offer this service, as well as the largest complete network in the city.
WiFi is already available from Gansevoort St. and 19 St. from 8th Ave to the West Side Highway, including locations such as the Chelsea Triangle, 14th Street Park, and Gansevoort Plaza.
"Google is proud to provide free WiFi in the neighborhood we have called home for over 6 years. This network will not only be a resource for the 2000+ residents of the Fulton Houses, it will also serve the 5,000+ student population of Chelsea as well as the hundreds of workers, retail customers and tourists who visit our neighborhood every day," said Ben Fried, chief information officer for Google, in a press release.
According to Fried, coverage will extend to a number of outdoor areas, including those of a number of local public schools and the Fulton Houses.
"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," said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. "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."
"New York is determined to become the world's leading digital city, and universal access to high-speed Internet is one the core building blocks of that vision," added New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "Thanks to Google, free WiFi across this part of Chelsea takes us another step closer to that goal."
Since the service is intended primarily for use outdoors, it may be harder to obtain quality service inside buildings due to the thick wall density of the pre-war buildings in the area.
In addition to its WiFi service in Chelsea, Google offers free wireless internet in the areas surrounding its data centers in California, Iowa, and South Carolina.