Free Wifi

NYC Launches Nation’s Largest Free Public WiFi Network

Enjoy the great outdoors without ever having to close your laptop.
Catch up on Twitter while waiting in line at the Apollo. (Photo: Getty)

Now you can ignore your family and catch up on Twitter while waiting in line at the Apollo! (Photo: Getty)

Internet service is painfully slow and hard to come by in NYC, but at least it’s about to be free for residents of 95 Manhattan blocks!

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today that a new outdoor public WiFi network is blanketing part of Harlem, from 110th to 138th streets between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Madison Avenue. The area encompasses 50 parks, and Harlem Children’s Zone will be increasing awareness of the network among residents, business and visitors.

It’s the largest continuous free outdoor public wireless network in the nation, according to a release from City Hall. It’s being rolled out in three phases, to be completed in May, in coordination with the city’s Technology Development Corporation and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. It’ll increase digital access for 80,000 Harlem residents, which includes 13,000 residents of public housing.

Mr. Bloomberg’s canned quote in the release points out that this will increase access to “information about Harlem’s rich history and attractions,” so be sure to google Harlem next time you’re in that neck of the woods.

Follow Molly Mulshine on Twitter or via RSS. mmulshine@observer.com