Google to bring free WiFi to Chelsea

Posted: 4:50 PM, Jan 08, 2013
Updated: 2013-01-08 16:50:26-05

Bloomberg announces the addition of free, outdoor Wi-Fi in Chelsea, thanks to a partnership between Google and a Chelsea redevelopment group

Google announced Tuesday that the tech company is going to work with a neighborhood redevelopment corporation to bring free Wi-Fi to Chelsea.

“In partnership with the Chelsea Improvement Company, we’re launching an outdoor wireless network extending from 19th St. to Gansevoort St., and from 8th Ave. to 10th Ave.,” Google Chief Information Officer Ben Fried announced Tuesday at a press conference.

“We all know that New York’s next job engine is the tech industry, one of the great things that’s happened here in New York is that talented people from around the world now come here because of so many talented companies,” said Sen. Charles Schumer.

Southwest Chelsea will be the first neighborhood with totally free outdoor Wi-Fi, and Mayor Bloomberg joked with Schumer at a press conference that perhaps free Wi-Fi could be extended to the rest of the city with some federal funding.

“Our administration is working hard to make New York the leading digital city,” Bloomberg said.  Twenty parks around the five boroughs already have Wi-Fi, and another 32 parks are set to be connected by September of this year.

The Chelsea network will cost the CIC and Google — whose offices are there on 9th Ave. — approximately $115,000 to set up and $45,000 a year to run.