The company operating Wi-Fi in some New York parks is closing down: Eagle-eyed correspondent Klaus Ernst noted that the Wi-Fi in the parks project has shut down. Wi-Fi Salon, the concessionaire for most of the major parks, posted a message about the current economic conditions, but the note is undated.
Wi-Fi Salon operated hotspots in a number of NYC parks, including Union Square and Central Park.
NYCwireless is still going strong, and any community members or organizations that are interested in setting up Wi-Fi in their parks or public spaces should contact us. NYCwireless is a non-profit, and has installed and currently operates dozens of free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout New York City, including Madison Square Park, Wagner Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jackson Square Park, and Stuyvesant Cove Park.
Update: Marshall has posted a response on his blog, where he talks about the difficulties in getting internet service installed from Verizon and Covad. He’s certainly right on this front (though we didn’t spent nearly the $250k he did to get our parks online).
Marshall also talks about Wi-Fi 1.0 gear in his network, and I have to wonder what he was using that wasn’t working for him. NYCwireless is on our 3rd generation of hardware, all of which is based on Soekris embedded PCs and Metrix Wi-Fi nodes, and the 3rd generation of hotspot operating systems (starting with our homegrown Pebble Linux and upgrading to Metrix’s Pyramid). We’ve had great success with our gear, and since we use open hardware and software, upgrades are inexpensive and incremental. We support hundreds of users per day on a number of hotspots. Perhaps Marshall’s operational costs could have come down quite a bit if opted to use our platform…