New York City may not top the global internet accessibility index right now but that is about to change. NYC’s Mayor has now announced the launch of a blanket Wi-Fi for 95 districts of Harlem, which will be the largest free Wi-Fi network in the U.S.
The move is an attempt to offer high-speed connectivity to a larger number of NYC residents. According to initial estimates, some 80,000 Harlem residents will be able to access and utilize this free Wi-Fi network. Called the ‘Harlem Wi-Fi Network’, it will offer speeds up to 2 Mbps and will be available from 110th to 138th streets.
The area is marked by Frederick Douglas Boulevard at one side and Madison Avenue at the other. Unlike other mega projects, the Harlem Wi-Fi network will be made available within a few months. Officials have cited that the roll-out of the network will start by the end of this month and complete by May, 2014.
According to NYC’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg, “Our new Harlem wireless network brings critical connectivity to residents and visitors, giving them 24/7 access to everything from education materials for kids, to information about Harlem’s rich history and attractions, to everyday needs like paying bills, checking library hours – or even just keeping tabs on the Knicks and Nets.”
The funding for this huge project comes from a public-private partnership of the city with Fuhrman Family Foundation. Currently NYC is significantly down on the list of world cities with best internet speeds. With this project, Mayor Bloomberg may finally be able to change all that.
To get a detailed run-down on the areas which will be covered by this free Wi-Fi network, visit NYC’s official announcement here.