Cablevision, Time Warner Cable Launch NYC Park Wi-Fi
32 Parks Come Online Three Years After Being Announced
Nearly three years ago I noted
how Time Warner Cable and Cablevision had struck a deal to offer Wi-Fi in 32 city parks in exchange for a fairly generous ten year franchise renewal in the city. The service was to be free for up to three 10-minute sessions a month - a total of 30 minutes per person. After that, the companies plan to charge 99 cents per day for use. Three years later and the companies have officially launched that promised Wi-Fi
across the 32 parks and all five boroughs.
Given that Cablevision and Time Warner Cable customers get access to these hotspots for free, some critics have complained
that the service is kind of a glorified advertisement for cable service and not as useful as free Wi-Fi would be to poorer city families. There's also a few people noting that the Bloomberg administration could have gotten much, much more out of Time Warner Cable and Cablevision, specifically to aid the poor:
Some critics said the city could have extracted far more from the companies in exchange for access to such a lucrative market.
“That market is worth orders of magnitude more to the cable companies than what they agreed to provide to the city,” said Dana Spiegel, executive director of NYCwireless, which advocates for free wireless access in parks and other public places.
Spiegel added that the time limits and charges for non-cable customers mean that low-income residents who cannot afford home Internet are unlikely to find the park Wi-Fi service a viable option for online activity that takes more than a few minutes.
You can find a full list of park Wi-Fi available here
, and I should note that AT&T offers Wi-Fi for free in numerous parks as well.
| |TamaraBQuestion The Current ParadigmPremiumReviews:
PR Smoke and Mirrors Looking at the distribution map, it is apparent that coverage is very spotty in the parks which are claimed to be covered. Also, some of the most popular parks are not on the list. Both Botanical Gardens are absent from the list. The NY Botanical Garden / Greenway is one of the largest and most popular parks in the city. It has many areas along the river and in the forest which have benches and are cool even on the hottest days.
Central park, and Prospect park have only token coverage, and other large parks like Clove Lakes /Silver Lakes parks have no coverage at all.
This WiFi park coverage is nothing more than a hot air PR move. Nothing of substance.
Only one of the Top Ten Largest Parks in the city is covered!
Pelham Bay Park Bronx 2,765 acres
Greenbelt, Staten Island 1,778 acres
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx 1,146 acres
Flushing Meadows/Corona Park, Queens 898 acres
Central Park, Manhattan 843 acres -------------- poorly covered
Marine Park, Brooklyn 798 acres
Bronx Park, Bronx 718 acres
Alley Pond Park, Queens 655 acres
Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk, South and Midland Beaches, Staten Island 638 acres
Forest Park, Queens 544 acres
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