January 8, 2013 By News Staff
Google is at it again, this time offering up free Wi-Fi -- with the help of a local development association -- to the southwest corner of NYC's Chelsea district, the area surrounding its New York City offices.
The Wi-Fi network will cover more than eight blocks in the neighborhood, and according to the company, will be the largest contiguous free public Wi-Fi outdoor network in the city, IT World reports.
"We're citizens of this community and this district, and it is important to us to contribute back and this is a way to do it that resonates with us," said Ben Fried, Google chief information officer, at a press conference. "I am a lifelong native New Yorker and that is why I am excited about this announcement."
Google also provides free Wi-Fi for the Mountain View area, where its headquarters is located, but currently has no plans to bring free Wi-Fi to other cities, Fried said.
Google and the Chelsea Improvement Co., a nonprofit neighborhood development corporation, are splitting the cost of implementation and upkeep in a two-year agreement. The project cost is about $115,000 to install the equipment, according to IT World, and it will cost about $45,000 per year to maintain. Google picked up two-thirds of the cost and Chelsea Improvement paid the other third. New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications helped set up the service.
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