NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York City plans to offer free public Wi-Fi in commercial districts in all five boroughs, officials said Monday.
The city also announced the launch of WiredNYC, a rating platform that evaluates the broadband connectivity and infrastructure of office buildings in an effort to encourage and accelerate the use of the technology.
“Free public wireless networks in neighborhoods across the five boroughs, along with the new broadband rating program, will advance our goal of equipping all New Yorkers with the tools they need to participate in the innovation economy,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball.
Mayor Bloomberg said the new technology will keep the city on the cutting edge.
“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,” said the mayor. “With these new initiatives, we are making targeted investments to improve our city’s wireless infrastructure and expand Internet access. We’re also measuring how connected our city’s buildings are and sharing that information, so that entrepreneurs are empowered to make the best decisions about where to open a business.”
The free public Wi-Fi will be offered in Brooklyn along the Fulton Street corridor, BAM cultural district, Brownsville and downtown Brooklyn; in Manhattan in the Flatiron District, along the Water Street corridor and the East River waterfront in Lower Manhattan, Harlem’s 125th Street corridor and on Roosevelt Island; in Queens in Long Island City; in Staten Island in the St. George commercial district; and in the Bronx on Fordham Road.
The CEO of Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner, is operating WiredNYC on behalf of the city. Ten of the city’s largest real estate owners are participating and more than 150 buildings are signed up for the program.
As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, the hotspots will be activated in December.
“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,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel.
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