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NYC Plans Free Wi-Fi to Cover All Five Boroughs
by Karl Bode 02:26PM Monday May 05 2014
While there's plenty of open Wi-Fi hotspots in New York City, the city's efforts at providing Wi-Fi to users have been limited so far to offering 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi in a large number of parks, an effort that took three years to finally materialize and has been criticized as a glorified ad campaign for the companies involved. Now New York City's new Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking the Wi-Fi effort further, announcing an expansion of a trial program started under Bloomberg that would replace pay phone kiosks with free public Wi-Fi hotspots. From the RFP:
quote:
In addition to 24/7 free Wi-Fi, the communication structures will continue to offer phone services, including free 911 and 311 calls. New services may include cell phone charging stations and touch screens that provide information or facilitate business transactions. These installations will also provide the city with an additional means of disseminating emergency notifications and information during citywide events. Proposers are also encouraged to include the use of independent power sources, such as solar energy.
Verizon considered the idea of converting public payphones into free Wi-Fi for their DSL users, but scrapped the idea back in 2005.

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rit56

join:2000-12-01
New York, NY

A good idea

Mobile phone companies should be prohibited from being involved (Verizon, AT&T,TMobile,Sprint). A new competitor to their over reaching presence would be nice. Hey Google???
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: A good idea

something tells me someone high up in government, had an overage from one of the telcos and this is their way of alleviating it... or they have to much tax money.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"
shmerl

join:2013-10-21

Many of those "free" WiFi hotspots

weren't really free. Free WiFi means that anyone can connect to it using standard WiFi network clients. Many of these services require installing some special client software from those vendors, which already makes it restricted.
MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

It'll never happen

MPAA/RIAA will convince Republicans that this is unAmerican, and they'll hold witch-hunt hearings on Capitol Hill .......

"Are you a resident or tourist in NYC?"
"Are you now or have you ever used a free WiFi hotspot in NYC"
"Are you now or have been a copyright thief?"

Then, on behalf of their corporate masters, they'll pass a law prohibiting municipal WiFi & municipal FTTH.

As Mr. Rogers might say, "Can you say 'Fascist State? Sure, I knew that you could."

DaveDude
No Fear

join:1999-09-01
New Jersey
kudos:1

Re: It'll never happen

i was thinking time warner, would immediately try to stop this.

verolom

join:2002-03-23
Reston, VA

Re: It'll never happen

Time Warner Cable?! No worries (cough!) by that time they will be Comcast (cough, cough!!) and buy up the whole city. For a preview visit Philly.

NormanS
I gave her time to steal my mind away
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-14
San Jose, CA
kudos:11
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
·Pacific Bell - SBC
said by MaynardKrebs:

MPAA/RIAA will convince Republicans that this is unAmerican, and they'll hold witch-hunt hearings on Capitol Hill .......

I have not heard of any witch hunts here.

»www.sanjoseca.gov/?nid=3689


Local public Wi-Fi.

--
Norman
~Oh Lord, why have you come
~To Konnyu, with the Lion and the Drum

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Interesting idea

Maybe it's in the RFP, but the PR blurb doesn't say how the wifi provider will be paid. It says one revenue source for funding "structures" will be advertising along commercial corridors. That sounds like a capital expenditure, not an ongoing expense.

Also, has anyone looked at a public payphone lately? Public phones are pretty lo-tech and were designed to be "bullet-proof". How in the world will hi-tech wireless routers stand up to this kind of abuse?
nony
Premium
join:2012-11-17
New York, NY

Re: Interesting idea

Here's the RFP -
»www.nyc.gov/html/doitt/downloads···0-14.pdf

-nony

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Re: Interesting idea

Thanx. Other than advertising on the phone booth and on the initial wifi login screen, I'm not seeing any revenue sources, but I'm still reading though it.
nony
Premium
join:2012-11-17
New York, NY

4 edits

Re: Interesting idea

"The suggested minimum annual compensation for the proposed guaranteed minimum annual amount of compensation for the initial year is twenty million dollars ($20,000,000). " [from 6. Compensation Proposal (page 19)]

Some of these funds should be used to provide an affordable broadband lifeline to NYC's homebound low-income seniors.

-nony

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Re: Interesting idea

I saw that. That's how much the wifi operator has to pay the city; I was more interested in how the operator makes money, and as far as I can tell, it's from advertising.

Considering the operator bears ALL the costs, ALL the risks, and gets only HALF of the revenue, I seriously doubt anyone will take them up on this "opportunity".
nony
Premium
join:2012-11-17
New York, NY

4 edits

Re: Interesting idea

You will be surprised. They modeled this on their previous successes.
Read the RFI and it's responses at nyc.gov - »www.nyc.gov/html/doitt/html/busi···ne.shtml

Here's the RFI repsonse from Titan- »www.nyc.gov/html/doitt/downloads···itan.pdf

Also see the Pilot Program Press Release- »www.nyc.gov/html/doitt/html/news···12.shtml

-nony

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

Re: Interesting idea

Thanx for the links

jmn1207
Premium
join:2000-07-19
Ashburn, VA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

By Any Other Name

Instead of "free WiFi", how about calling it "WiFi that somebody else is paying for with no immediately obvious direct costs to consumers in order to boost public opinion for political reasons"? Too long?
Madtown
Premium
join:2008-04-26
Madera, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: By Any Other Name

said by jmn1207:

Instead of "free WiFi", how about calling it "WiFi that somebody else is paying for with no immediately obvious direct costs to consumers in order to boost public opinion for political reasons"? Too long?

"Taxpayer WiFI" after all the taxpayers are paying for it.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

find the underserved...

once you start taking customers away from incumbents who do nothing good for the consumer, maybe THEN they will actually get around to deploying a network and innovating!!

enlist Google or another non-incumbent company to build a network!
Maybe then, residential customers will start seeing 300 - 1000 megabit internet tiers become affordable and available!
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: find the underserved...

Paid for by whom?
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

Re: find the underserved...

Why, mostly the 1% of course. Eventually, the mayor will have to make them pay for something, since NY State is trying to pull a fast one & do the opposite... by giving tycoons a treasure trove of tax breaks (such as yachts, and black colored chauffeur vehicles) .
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: find the underserved...

said by tmc8080:

Why, mostly the 1% of course.

Of course. What a wonderful idea to make someone only earning $300K per year in one of the most expensive places to live in the whole country pay for everyone else to have free WiFi

Packeteers
Premium
join:2005-06-18
Forest Hills, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

a very stupid implimentation

reviving old long abandoned and scrap metal stripped telephone stalls at the ground level is a stupid idea that will only be abused and ultimately vandalized. better to put weatherproof wifi repeaters high up and out of reach on DOT manage street lights and traffic signals (also better logistically for solar power) many of which already have Verizon hookups to the Met Life, Worth St and LIC DOT facilities for centralized timing box control.
frank124c

join:2003-12-04
Brooklyn, NY

Free Wi Fi

Its a known fact that many families are deprived of internet services because they simply cannot afford it. This situation will get worse since Verizon seems intent on forcing its customers off wired telephone lines and onto either FIOS or cell phone service. In this modern world lack of internet service deprives children of educational opportunities. Thus free wi-fi service for home pc's and telephones should be made available to everyone so that poor children and minority children will have the same educational opportunities as everyone else.
nony
Premium
join:2012-11-17
New York, NY

3 edits

Re: Free Wi Fi

said by frank124c:

Its a known fact that many families are deprived of internet services because they simply cannot afford it. This situation will get worse since Verizon seems intent on forcing its customers off wired telephone lines and onto either FIOS or cell phone service. In this modern world lack of internet service deprives children of educational opportunities. Thus free wi-fi service for home pc's and telephones should be made available to everyone so that poor children and minority children will have the same educational opportunities as everyone else.

You are so right.

Note that the city is making significant progress through some of their ongoing public/private partnerships -

»www.everyoneon.org/

»www.everyoneon.org/offer-and-eli···verview/

Still, more needs to be done.

-nony

SpottedCat

join:2004-06-27
Miami, FL

I've never seen municipal WiFi that works.

I've tried using municipal WiFi in various cities including Hollywood, FL, San Francisco, San Jose, etc.. and I've never been able to so much as get a web page to load.

I doubt NYC's will be any different. WiFi just doesn't scale that way.
nony
Premium
join:2012-11-17
New York, NY

Re: I've never seen municipal WiFi that works.

Let's hope that we in nyc get it right - this time. After all, we do have a lot of bright people working on the problem.

-nony
frank124c

join:2003-12-04
Brooklyn, NY
I have used WiFi at the Brooklyn Public Library and it works ok. There are many very good technicians here in NYC so maybe they will be hired by the city to set it up.