Google and The Chelsea Improvement Company have announced they have partnered to provide free public WiFi internet access in southwest Chelsea, which will provide free Internet access to hundreds of thousands of people each year. It will become the first wired neighborhood in Manhattan and the largest contiguous WiFi network in New York City.
Free WiFi is now available outdoors, roughly between Gansevoort St. and 19 St. from 8th Ave to the West Side Highway, as well as the neighborhood’s public spaces, including the Chelsea Triangle, 14th Street Park, and Gansevoort Plaza. The Chelsea WiFi Network was designed and installed by Sky-Packets.
The Mayor’s office and the City of New York’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications worked with Google and Chelsea Improvement Company to transform the two companies’ aspirations into a reality, advising them on installation.
“Google is proud to provide free WiFi in the neighborhood we have called home for over 6 years. This network will not only be a resource for the 2000+ 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,” said Ben Fried, Chief Information Officer for Google. The network will cover all of the outdoor areas of the Fulton Houses, a property owned and managed by the New York City Housing Authority, as well as several of the local public schools.
“We are excited to partner with Google in creating an important digital amenity in New York City and giving thousands of New Yorkers free Internet access,” said Dan Biederman, President of the Chelsea Improvement Company.
“Each day access to the Internet becomes more and more important to finding a good job or getting a good education, and this neighborhood-wide wireless network will provide that resource to hundreds of thousands,” said Schumer. “This cutting edge wireless network will help to cement New York’s reputation as a leader in technological development, will help the city continue to attract business and grow our booming Silicon Alley, and will take us one step closer to our goal of becoming the most well connected city in America.”
“New York is determined to become the world’s leading digital city, and universal access to high-speed Internet is one the core building blocks of that vision,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Thanks to Google, free WiFi across this part of Chelsea takes us another step closer to that goal.”
“I applaud this important collaboration between Google and the Chelsea Improvement Company to bring free public WiFi Internet access to residents, students, and visitors of southwest Chelsea,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “This public-private partnership benefits the local community while further cementing Google’s role as an important contributor to the future development of the area as a hub for the city’s technology industry. I also want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and everyone at the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications for working collaboratively to make this possible.”
“Chelsea WiFi is a great new resource for our neighborhood. Hudson Guild will use the network as a teaching resource for kids, as a tool to connect older adults inside and outside the senior center and to stay in touch with working parents. This free Internet access will, literally, help Chelsea stay connected,” said Ken Jockers, Executive Director of the Hudson Guild.
About Google Inc.
Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. Google has more than 3000 employees in its Chelsea headquarters at 111 Eighth Ave. For more information, visit www.google.com/about.html.
About the Chelsea Improvement Company:
The Chelsea Improvement Company is a nonprofit neighborhood redevelopment corporation that seeks to improve the day-to-day lives of the people who live, work, and visit southwest Chelsea. CIC provdes services that supplement those provided by city government–like our sanitation and security programs–and investing in the neighborhood's streetscape. The Chelsea Improvement Company began operating in January 2007 as a response to the rapidly changing conditions in the neighborhood: what had been a largely industrial area was fast becoming one of the city's most desirable neighborhoods for offices, retail, and living. All of the new activity brought lots more people onto the streets, where they encountered unpleasant or even dangerous conditions on sidewalks. As a result of the Chelsea Improvement Company's efforts, the streets are now safer, brighter, and cleaner, as well as more inviting for pedestrians and cars alike. More information is at: www.chelseaimprovement.com