New York City to provide Harlem residents with free Wi-Fi

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Harlem is getting Wi-Fi.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday the city plans to launch in Harlem a new outdoor public wireless Internet network that will be accessible to all users at no cost.

The network will extend 95 city blocks, making it the largest continuous free outdoor public wireless network in the nation.

“Our new Harlem wireless network brings critical connectivity to residents and visitors, giving them 24/7 access to everything from education materials for kids, to information about Harlem’s rich history and attractions, to everyday needs like paying bills, checking library hours – or even just keeping tabs on the Knicks and Nets,” Bloomberg said.

The network, which will be rolled out in three phases in coordination with the city’s Technology Development Corporation and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, will increase digital access for approximately 80,000 Harlem residents, including 13,000 public-housing residents, as well as businesses and visitors in the area.

The free public network will serve the community for an initial five-year term and is funded through a donation from the Fuhrman Family Foundation to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.

“Increasing wireless connectivity helps to strengthen neighborhoods for those who live, work and visit and is a key component of the Bloomberg administration’s efforts to ensure digital inclusion,” said New York Chief Information and Innovation Officer Rahul Merchant. “The Harlem Wi-Fi network extends wireless access to thousands of New Yorkers, enabling convenient free connectivity on the go.”

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications and the Technology Development Corporation are overseeing the Wi-Fi network’s implementation working closely with technology provider Sky-Packets. The project will be implemented in three phases:

  • Phase One: 110th to 120th streets, between Madison Avenue & Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Scheduled for completion in December 2013.
  • Phase Two: 121st to 126th streets, between Madison Avenue & Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Scheduled for completion in February 2014.
  • Phase Three: 127th to 138th streets, between Madison Avenue & Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Scheduled for completion in May 2014.

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Harlem, Michael Bloomberg, New York, States
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