Google is starting free WiFi in New York City, beginning with the district of Chelsea, in the west side of Manhattan. The coverage zone includes the area between Gansevoort Street and West 19th Street, from 8th Avenue to 10th Avenue.
According to Google, the company spent only $115,000 to build the network (this sum includes the cost of the access points). Annual maintenance costs $45,000. Google paid two-thirds of the cost of the network, and the Chelsea Improvement Company paid for the rest. This has nothing to do with Google’s fiber projects in other parts of the US.
I am sure mayor and city council members across the country are salivating over the prospect of a revival of muni WiFi — courtesy of Google. Remember that several years ago, Google launched the Mountain View, California Wi-Fi network, free of charge to users. Mountain View is the location of Google’s headquarters. After that, Google focused its efforts on building a fiber network in Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS where it is now offering 1 Gbps service.
There’s already lot of free WiFi in New York City, notably in cafes.