Thanks to a generous $2 million donation from financier Glenn Fuhrman, nearly 80,000 residents living in 95 city blocks in Harlem will have access to a new outdoor public Wi-Fi
network at no cost to them. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the initiative today, saying that the Wi-Fi network will be the largest continuous free outdoor public wireless
network in the nation.
"Our new Harlem wireless network brings critical connectivity to residents and visitors, giving them 24/7 access to everything from education materials for kids, to information about Harlem’s rich history and attractions, to everyday needs like paying bills, checking library hours – or even just keeping tabs on the Knicks and Nets," said Mayor Bloomberg. "In 2013 being successful requires being connected; thanks to the Fuhrman Family Foundation and the Mayor’s Fund, we are wiring nearly 100 blocks in Harlem and giving 80,000 New Yorkers another tool for success."
Image Source: Flickr (Keith DeBetham)
Keeping tabs on the Knicks and Nets probably aren't real major selling points right now (they're a combined 12-29 and neither team would make the playoffs if it started today), but this is a pretty big deal nonetheless. Users will have unlimited access to fast Internet from their mobile devices all every hour of every day of the week.
The project is being rolled out in three phases, the first of which will cover 110th to 120th Street, between Madison Avenue and Frederick Douglass Blvd. It's scheduled for completion by the end of the month. Phase two is to be completed by February 2014, and Phase three will be finished in May 2014.