Google announced its free wireless Internet access to parts of New York City, making it the largest public outdoor network in the Big Apple.
The wi-fi network starts Tuesday and doesn't need a password. The Chelsea neighborhood where the wireless hotspot will be is near its Google offices, according to Bloomberg News.
“New York is determined to become the world’s leading digital city, and universal access to high-speed Internet is one of the core building blocks of that vision,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters at a press conference in Manhattan Tuesday. “Free Wi-Fi across this part of Chelsea takes us another step closer to that goal.”
New York has been working on becoming more of a technological hub, and the wi-fi will help grow its Silicon Alley, a group of startups in NYC. The wireless service will be available between Gansevoort Street and 19th Street from 8th Avenue to the West Side Highway, Bloomberg reported.
While the two-year pilot project network cost $115,000 to build and about $45,000 to maintain each year, Google plans to cover two-thirds of the cost with the remainder paid for by a neighborhood improvement group. However, there will be no advertising except notification that Google is the wireless provider.
It isn't the first time Google has offered free wi-fi at its offices. It also has free wireless at its Mountain View headquarters and has been experimenting with a high-speed fiber network in Kansas City, Mo. Previously the search titan has also given free wi-fi away at major airports, all seemingly for goodwill? Sure, and all the publicity that comes from it.