Google partnership brings free Wi-Fi to New York City neighborhood

A lot of attention has been paid to Google's experiment designed to outfit Kansas City with high speed Internet access. But another, lesser-known Google project in the media capital of the world, New York City, hints that the company may have even bigger plans.

Today, New York's Chelsea Improvement Company (CIC) announced a partnership with Google that will bring free Wi-Fi to the public in the city's Chelsea neighborhood, from 8th avenue to the West Side Highway, between Gansevoort street and 19th street. The announcement was made in conjunction with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Chuck Schumer who called the new network "the future of New York."

Not much detail has been offered regarding Google's specific role in getting the network deployed, but we do know that at least part of the network's installation was aided by SkyPackets, a Wi-Fi company that recently helped deliver access to displaced Hurricane Sandy victims.

No expiration date has been set on the network, with the CIC stating, "hundreds of thousands of people each year will have access to free Internet." Google has yet to weigh in regarding any possibilities for a wider spectrum of Wi-Fi access across New York City, but the CIC has already revealed, via its Twitter account, that plans are already in the works to extend the Wi-Fi network to Midtown Manhattan at 34th street, a tourist-packed area that is probably second only to Tokyo's Shibuya neighborhood in terms of sheer density of mobile device users.


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