NYC Getting Even More Citywide Wi-Fi Thanks To TWC And Cablevision

Internet, anyone? If you're cruising over to the Big Apple, the answer is a resounding "yes." Citywide Chief Information and Innovation Officer Rahul N. Merchant, Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Veronica M. White, Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot, Cablevision Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Lee Schroeder, and Time Warner Cable Vice President of Government Relations for New York City Cathleen Sims today announced the launch of new WiFi service in 32 New York City parks. New Yorkers and visitors can now connect to the Internet for free using their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other WiFi-enabled devices for free up to 30 minutes each month, and for 99 cents per day.

The NYC Parks WiFi service is free at all times to Cablevision and Time Warner Cable broadband subscribers. Additional WiFi park locations across the city will be launched on a rolling basis as part of this program negotiated by the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT). The event was held this morning at St. James Park in the Bronx – one of the more than 30 locations offering the newly-launched service.

"With NYC Parks WiFi we're further transforming New York City into a hub for connectivity and extending the reach of broadband citywide," said Citywide Chief Information and Innovation Officer Merchant. "Negotiated as part of franchise agreements with Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems, this initiative expands WiFi service to millions of New Yorkers and visitors in some of our City's most beautiful and historic sites. We are advancing the Bloomberg Administration's vision of the digital city and leveraging the City's franchising authority for the public good."

NYC Parks WiFi, provided by Cablevision and Time Warner Cable, will be maintained through July 2020 as part of these companies' franchise renewal agreements negotiated with the City and finalized in 2011. The agreements include a $10 million investment fund for WiFi deployment in parks and public spaces across the five boroughs. Hotspots will be distributed throughout City parks, with the majority of the locations in the outer boroughs. The goal of the program is equip areas currently lacking widespread Internet access with high-quality WiFi. These services are in addition to existing WiFi service in parks provided by AT&T and other organizations.

Any guesses on which major city follows suit?