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.