Give it up for GOOG, boys and girls: Later this morning, the search behemoth is expected to announce an initiative to blanket southwest Chelsea with free Wifi. That’ll mean easier access to the Internet for not just Chelsea Market shoppers and Google employees, but also residents of the NYCHA-run Fulton Houses and several local public schools.
Nice to see someone getting after that digital divide.
After the Storm
Time Warner Cable is sending 10 mobile charging stations equipped with WiFi into areas of New York that still don’t have power. The local Time Warner Twitter account, @TWCABLE_NYC, will update users with the truck’s location. Today they plan to hit residential areas of Chinatown, the Flatiron district and the West Village. And tomorrow the crew will announce additional areas. Time Warner stores in Staten Island and at the Queens Center Mall are fortunately also opening their doors to let people charge up. That should quiet the TWC haters in New York City–at least for a couple weeks.
The photo on the left was taken this afternoon in Chinatown and you can see how many people really need a charge from the trucks by the mess of wires around the outlets.
After the Storm
We’re stretching into yet another day of no power downtown. If you’re seeking Wifi, you could simply head north until you find somewhere, but it’s probably best to proceed with a plan. Hence, we’ve rounded up a list of places you might want to try:
The waters from Hurricane Sandy have rendered some telecommunications networks about as useful as the rudder on the Titanic. As city-dwellers have begun to seek an internet connection, finding a wifi hotspot has sometimes become almost as important as securing non-perishables and batteries for flashlights.
AllThingsD has collected a good deal of information on where to find wifi in areas where even strong cellphone signals may be in short supply:
Quick question: What would Microsoft have to offer to get you interested in Windows 8? Would free Wifi perhaps do the trick?
Starting now until the end of the year–i.e., all the way through the holiday shopping season–Microsoft will be sponsoring free Wifi access at several locations around town, via Boingo Wireless. (San Francisco is getting the same treatment.) The program is already up and running in each of Manhattan’s six wired subway stations, and it’ll be extended to more than 200 unspecified hotspots across the island starting November 1.
No Sleep Til
It might look like an oil carrier abandoned on a forgotten shore, but the Verge reports that the recently opened Barclays Center is actually something of a technological showcase. The Internet: It’s not just for Manhattan anymore!
According to the Verge, you won’t just be able to get 3G and LTE reception, which is already an improvement over many massive structures. There’s also free Wifi available throughout the stadium. That’s good news for all you music buffs out there, because it means there’ll be a ton of footage from the concerts later this month–Jay-Z, Justin Bieber, the Who, Barbra Steisand–available on YouTube for approximately two hours before the copyright bots start playing whack-a-mole.
Yesterday, New York City rolled out a program turning increasingly useless old payphones into free Wifi hotspots. The coverage has been positive, as one might expect: What’s not to like about free Wifi?
But we do have one complaint: If we weren’t tech bloggers, we probably wouldn’t have noticed that this particular payphone was anything out of the ordinary.
Fun with Data
Did you know that the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry Business library in Murray Hill is the quietest spot for fast Wifi in New York City? Did you know that the NYPL even had a Science, Industry, and Business library? (Hence the quiet, we guess.) What about the fact that Kaffe 1668 in Tribeca has better Wifi than its East Village competitors, Ost Cafe and Blue Spoon Coffee?
Well, stop groping for Wifi in the dark!
You don’t have to get the hell out of dodge to enjoy some promotional holiday WiFi. A week after Skype gifted free WiFi at 50 airports around the U.S., the company is announcing free WiFi over New Year’s for New York City denizens.
According to The Next Web, from midday on December 31st until midday on January 1st, New Yorkers will be able to access free Skype WiFi (for Googling last minute resolution ideas or, ahem, making Skype calls) in neighborhoods covered by Towerstream, its partner network. That includes: Times Square, West Village, East Village, South Village, Greenwich Village, NoHo, SoHo, Lowe East Side, Clinton, Chelsea, Union Square, Midtown, Midtown South, Murray Hill, Stuyvesant Park and Turtle Bay.
Internet Wants to Be Free
AT&T just announced free Wi-Fi service at an additional five New York City parks: Astoria Park in Queens, Herbert Von King Park and McCarren Park Field House in Brooklyn, Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan and Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island.