Google has begun offering free public WiFi internet access in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The new service — which was the product of a public-private effort by the company, city officials, and a local nonprofit development organization– will provide free Internet access to hundreds of thousands of people, making it the largest such WiFi network in the city.
“Google is proud to provide free WiFi in the neighborhood we have called home for over six years,” Ben Fried, the company’s chief information officer, said in a statement. “This network will not only be a resource for the 2,000+ residents of the Fulton Houses, it will also serve the 5,000+ student population of Chelsea as well as the hundreds of workers, retail customers and tourists who visit our neighborhood every day.”
Like most residents, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is also excited about the large-scale WiFi access and said that he’d eventually like to see similar WiFi service throughout the city. “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,” he revealed. “Thanks to Google, free WiFi across this part of Chelsea takes us another step closer to that goal.”