AT&T will be providing free WiFi in 20 NYC parks for a period of five years, thanks to a deal between the city and AT&T. Starting today, there is free WiFi in Battery Bosque in Battery Park, the north-end playground in Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx, and around the recreation center at Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem. Bryant Park already has had free WiFi for years, thanks to a local community wireless group.
Recently, a Brooklyn neighborhood called DUMBO got free WiFi, thanks to the DUMBO Improvement District, Two Trees Management and NYCWireless.
Here’s a list of the 20 parks that will have free WiFi from AT&T:
Bronx: Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx River Park and Devoe Park
Brooklyn: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Fort Greene Park, Herbert Von King Park, McCarren Park and Prospect Park
Manhattan: Battery Park, Thomas Jefferson Park, Central Park (multiple locations), the High Line, Holcombe Rucker Park, Marcus Garvey Park and Tompkins Square Park
Queens: Astoria Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park and MacDonald Park
Staten Island: Clove Lake Park and South Beach
In addition to New York City parks, AT&T offers Wi-Fi hotspots and hotzones across the city. New York City Times Square was the site of the very first AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone, and AT&T has added hotzones near Rockefeller Center, near St. Patrick’s Cathedral, along Park Avenue and near Ed Sullivan Theater. AT&T Wi-Fi hotzones supplement mobile broadband coverage in areas with consistently high traffic. AT&T is also providing free Wi-Fi for attendees at this year’s HARLEM WEEK Celebrations, held July 31-Aug. 31, in alliance with the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce.
One hopes that the parks’ WiFi network will be fast and robust enough to please iPhone, Android and other smartphone users so that they will use WiFi instead of the cellular networks. I don’t know how much of an impact these free WiFi hotzones will have on 3G data traffic.
More articles about WiFi in NYC
Towerstream’s Manhattan WiFi network: the answer to iPhone users’ woes?: Towerstream has deployed a wholesale WiFi network which it is leasing out to cellular operators for offloading of 3G traffic onto WiFi.
AT&T sets up free WiFi in Times Square NYC to offload 3G data traffic: AT&T is already experimenting with offloading 3G data traffic onto WiFi.
Time Warner Cable offers NYC customers free access to Wi-Fi hotspots: cable companies like Time Warner Cable and Cablevision are offering free WiFi but only to their existing cable customers.