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Queens Chronicle

Free Wi-Fi coming to Long Island City

Mayor announces internet initiative

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Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:51 am, Thu Oct 10, 2013.

Mayor Bloomberg announced on Monday that sections of Long Island City will be one of 10 neighborhoods in the city to receive free Wi-Fi service.

The access area — bordered by Queens Plaza, Jackson Avenue and Vernon Boulevard — will grant businesses and residents who live and work in the area free internet connection as part of the mayor’s Wireless Corridor Challenge.

“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 in a statement.

The Long Island City Partnership has paired up with GOWEX, a firm that specializes in bringing free connection into cities, to get the Wi-Fi up and running.

The expansion will include 10 business corridors across the five boroughs, including the Flatiron District in Manhattan, Fort Greene and the city Housing Authority houses in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

In addition to GOWEX, the city has signed on to work with several other organizations that have similar specialties to manage the Wi-Fi routers to ensure the pilot program runs smoothly.

Over the next few weeks, the Long Island City Partnership will also host a number of seminars and meetings to explain the Wi-Fi process, including how it works and the benefits that can come with free internet access.

According to published reports, the hubs will cost $3,400,000 in private and $900,000 in public funds, is expected to fully launch in December and will remain in place for a minimum of three years.

In addition, the city is launching a rating system of the connectivity of commercial buildings to help prospective businesses choose buildings with better internet options.

After the access areas have been monitored, other parts of the city will be considered for Wi-Fi service for the second phase of the program.

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