Betabeat was just chatting with some sources at the city about the news that AT&T will be providing free WiFi in 20 local parks for the next five years.
What does AT&T get out of this, we asked?
“Good will from New Yorkers. That is literally it.”
After years of being blasted on blogs, taken apart in the press and vilified on national television, AT&T knew it had to do something to win back the hearts and minds of Big Apple’s influential smartphone set.
There was no request out for the city for a proposal, says our source. “AT&T just approached us.”
The plan won’t tax AT&T’s cell network, because it will rely on wireline, even leasing from other networks like Verizon when need be.
It’s gonna be an uphill battle to win those hearts and minds.
The lucky 20 sites are as follows:
Bronx: Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx River Park and Devoe Park
Brooklyn: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Fort Greene Park, Herbert Von King Park, McCarren Park and Prospect Park
Manhattan: Battery Park, Thomas Jefferson Park, Central Park (multiple locations), the High Line, Holcombe Rucker Park, Marcus Garvey Park and Tompkins Square Park
Queens: Astoria Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park and MacDonald Park
Staten Island: Clove Lake Park and South Beach