New York City officials with the Department of Parks and Recreation earlier this week set a July deadline for a contractor to have a functional wireless Internet network in place in Central Park, and a late-summer deadline for Wi-Fi in a number of additional parks, including Riverside, Washington Square Parks and the Bronx’s Orchard Beach, The New York Times reports.
The city plans to expand wireless Web access to the majority of its parkland over the coming years, according to the Times.
Robert Garafola, Parks and Recreation deputy commissioner for management and budget, said at the hearing, “We expect Central Park to be launched in July, and the rest of the parks in late summer,” according to the Times.
The officials made the announcement at a City Council hearing on Monday, and the deadline represents significant progress in a three-year-old initiative that has been hindered by numerous complications, including technical difficulties and minimal interest on the part of major Internet service providers, according to the Times.
It remains to be seen whether that deadline is realistic.
Cities such as Philadelphia and San Francisco have made recent headlines because of their high-profile Wi-Fi implementations, and New York is playing catch-up.
Though New York is currently extending Wi-Fi access only to its parks, individuals and businesses near these areas will likely be able to use the service as well, and considering the vast array of parks within the city’s five boroughs, the network could have a huge impact on its residents, the Times reports.
For related news coverage, read Norway Gets Commercial Wi-Fi, Cellular Service, Philadelphia Wi-Fi Plan OK’d by City Council and Google Steers Clear of Silicon Valley Wi-Fi.
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