More City Parks Become Hot Spots

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

At least one park in each of the city’s five boroughs is Wi-Fi enabled. But Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe acknowledged there’s not yet an even distribution of park hot spots citywide.

So far, he said, parks with the most Wi-Fi hot spots are in Brooklyn and Manhattan, including Central Park, Battery Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Fort Greene Park. Staten Island has the least, with only two parks Wi-Fi enabled.

“It goes to where the people are,” he said. “For the same reason there are more subway stations in Manhattan — because there are more people living and working in Manhattan than there are in Staten Island.”

Benepe said the department plans to continue expanding internet service in the city’s parks, and that factors like park use, population and the availability of antenna space will help determine which park get service next.

“Maybe where there are large office buildings, municipal buildings, courthouses, places where people, a lot of people are coming out that might use a park during the lunch hour,” he explained.

This week, the department announced expanded service in the Bronx, at Hunts Point Riverside Park. It’s part of a five year initiative between the city and AT&T to provide free Wi-Fi  in parks.

In addition, several business improvement districts and non-profits, such as the Union Square Partnership, have also established Wi-Fi spots in city parks.



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Comments [4]

Nilufar Yasmin from Bogura

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Dec. 01 2012 12:03 PM

Thanks for your comment Joan. There is free Wi-Fi in Bryant Park. It's run by a non-profit, like the Wi-Fi in Union Square. It's not on the map because Bryant Park is not a park run by the city.

Aug. 22 2012 10:59 AM

There used to be free wifi in Bryant Park. It's not designated on the map. Is there no wifi in Bryant Park any longer? Why not?

Aug. 22 2012 10:33 AM
Alex from Laurelton, Queens

So, no free wifi if you live in a low-income, non-gentrifying area that isn't in the Bronx (which is heavily low-income and non-gentrifying as the WNYC story on dropped criminal charges indicates indirectly). It seems like there should be an effort to bring free wifi to parks in the areas where there are fewer home broadband subcribers. Need should be considered along w/ demand. The availability of alternative options, such as wifi cafes and libraries should also be considered.

Aug. 22 2012 09:01 AM

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