New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday that he will expand free wireless Internet service to select neighborhoods in all five of the city’s boroughs.
Starting in December, AFP reports, neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx will all receive new free wireless hotspots funded by a combination of public and private money. Bloomberg announced that the “wireless corridor” would run on some $900,000 of government money and $3.4 million in funding from the private sector.
"If New York City is going to remain competitive in the global economy, we must find ways to support the entrepreneurs who are driving technological advances and creating jobs," Bloomberg said. “With these new initiatives, we are making targeted investments to improve our city’s wireless infrastructure and expand Internet access."
Engadget reports that neighborhoods receiving the free wireless internet will include Downtown Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan and Harlem, among several more neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. Currently, New York City has around 20 free Wi-Fi zones in parks across the city as well as certain locations in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea.
Throughout his 12-year stint as New York City’s mayor, Bloomberg has worked to attract more tech businesses to New York City. The free Wi-Fi initiative, set to go live in his final month in office, seems in many ways a final push for his focus on increasing New York City’s status as a tech hub.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.