Chelsea is getting free outdoor Wi-Fi service with the help of Google.
Most of Google’s 3,000 New York employees work in a huge Eighth Avenue complex in the neighborhood. The company chipped in about $75,000 to install the broadest public wireless network in the city, officials announced Tuesday.
The service runs from Gansevoort Street to 19th Street between Eighth Avenue and West Street. Anyone in the area will be able to use the Wi-Fi for at least two years.
Google partnered with nonprofit community organization the Chelsea Improvement Company to build the network, which involved installing 29 antennas on lampposts and rooftops. No city or federal funds were used. The total cost of setting up the network was about $115,000.
Twenty city parks already have free Wi-Fi, with 32 more slated for the service this year. In June 2011, Dumbo became the first neighborhood in New York City to provide wireless Internet access.
Dan Biederman, president of the Chelsea Improvement Company, also heads the 34th Street Partnership, which hopes to start offering free Wi-Fi in the heart of Midtown within a year.