We recently had the opportunity to upgrade the hotspot at Madison Square Park, an I thought I would take this opportunity to show off our latest hardware. The hardware that we installed is the latest outdoor, all-weather gear from Metrix and Soekris. We use a high-powered Wi-Fi radio that provides wireless service throughout the park, including the new park space between 5th and Broadway north of 23rd street.
One of the reasons why we build free Wi-Fi hotspots is the impact it has on local communities. Our Clinton Hill Hotspot is no different — check out the great photos of kids surfing the internet. We’ve even found some budding TV stars in the 2 kids who were interviewed!
More photos after the break…
We’re very excited to announce the availability of our newest hotspot in Wagner Park at the south end of Battery Park City. This hotspot is a partnership with the Battery Park City Authority, and we hope will be just the first of multiple hotspots throughout Battery Park City.
Take a trip down to Wagner Park! It has one of the most beautiful views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.
You can see photos of the hotspot on Flickr.
Wagner Park Gets Hotter With Wi-Fi
NYCwireless Comes to Battery Park City
NEW YORK, NY, April 24, 2008 — Battery Park City Authority’s already hot Wagner Park is becoming even hotter with the introduction of free Wi-Fi service which was introduced this past fall.
The wireless service will be available from Pier A in Lower Manhattan, up Battery Park City’s promenade, to 1st Place.
“We are attracting as many laptops as we are sun bathers, so it seemed like a natural service to offer our residents and visitors,” said James Gill, Chairman of the Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority. “Public parks are become increasingly wireless friendly, and given how extraordinarily popular Wagner Park is, we needed to keep up with the times.”
Chairman Gill predicted that based upon how successful and popular the program is already, that Battery Park City would likely expand it to its other parks and public spaces. “From out green technology, state of the art parks, and our widely admired public art, Battery Park City has always been on the cutting edge of design and technology. This service is simply a natural progression of that mission,” said Gill.
The wireless service is provided by NYCwireless, a not-for-profit that builds and helps bring free public Wi-Fi networks to City public spaces.
“We are immensely proud and thrilled to be able to work with Battery Park City Authority and light up this wonderful park,” said Dana Spiegel, Executive Director of NYCwireless. “Wagner Park is one of the great New York City views, and instead of being cooped up in the office you can enjoy it and still stay connected.”
The broadband network set up by NYCwireless is free for anyone to use. Anyone can get a free account by connecting to the Wagner Park hotspot (or any other NYCwireless hotspots) and signing up with a valid email address. The hotspot will feature local information for park visitors to learn about the area and events at the park.
About The Battery Park City Authority
The Battery Park City Authority is a public benefit corporation created by the New York State Legislature in 1968 to develop a 92-acre site at the southwestern tip of Lower Manhattan. Parcels are leased to developers who build in accordance with BPCA guidelines, which now incorporate green provisions mandating state-of-the-art environmental specifications to maximize energy efficiency and minimize water usage, among other provisions.
NYCwireless (http://www.nycwireless.net) is a non-profit organization that advocates and enables the growth of free, public wireless Internet access in New York City and surrounding areas. NYCwireless, founded in 2001, is an all-volunteer organization with many active members in the New York metropolitan area, across the United States of America, and around the world. In partnership with city parks organizations, business improvement districts and local non-profit organizations, NYCwireless has built free, public wireless hotspots at Bryant Park, Madison Square Park, Wagner Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Jackson Square Park, Union Square Park (in partnership with commercial wireless Internet provider TowerStream), Stuyvesant Cove Park (the first fully solar powered hotspot in New York), Tompkins Square Park, Bowling Green Park, City Hall Park, the South Street Seaport, and the Winter Garden, among others. In addition, NYCwireless worked with Community Access to build free wireless networks in three NYCHA-licensed affordable housing residences. NYCwireless also served as a member of the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee.
Gramstand, one of our favorite NYCwireless hotspots, is in the final running for the Ideablob Competition. Go vote for this great coffeeshop and friend of NYCwireless!
Gramstand Friends and Family,
Thanks to your lovely support, we are now in the finals of the Ideablob Competition… so WE NEED YOUR VOTE, ONE LAST TIME. If we win the $10,000 prize we’re putting the money toward cafe renovations like:
- opening the front windows for the summer
- getting better air conditioning
- testing new menu options
- a liquor license (citrus berry champagne??? yum!)
- a fax machine
- and basement adjustments
- …things that will make the space fun for working or gathering!
To vote for us, you need to go to the link below and set-up an account. It only takes a minute or two:
Thanks for supporting the Gramstand — it really means a lot to me and the staff. Feel free to pass this email along to other supporters!
Richard & the gStand
We will be installing of the Brooklyn Bridge Park on this Monday, May 22 at 5:30pm. Please email me (dana at nycwireless.net) directly if you are interested in participating. We will be installing the hotspot plus 2 antennas, doing some spectrum analysis, and also checking the coverage of the hotspot in the park.
We need your help to make this project a success, so please try to help out with this installation.
For those of you who were unable to attend this week’s meeting, I wanted to provide brief updates on some projects:
New York Done Right
NYCwireless is collaborating with Open Resource Group to launch a site called New York Done Right. Its basically an organizational tool where we can work through projects and fund-raise, and is intended to support bottom-up organizational process. You can use it at http://www.nydoneright.com. It’s far from perfect and complete, so if you have comments/suggestions about the site, please just email me.
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
A member of The Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza has contacted us about the possibility of getting that park lit up with wireless. We are starting the process of organizing about this. We will be using our new project management tools here. Please contact Ben Serebin if you’d like to get involved
We’re just about ready to launch this. Please keep an eye out for an email from Rob Kelley. We’re still looking for people who would like to host WifiDog Nodes!
There’s no update on this project, unfortunately. I’ve sent some inquiries to the organization from which we’re waiting for approval, but haven’t heard back yet. They are still working through the approval process.
American’s for Informed Democracy, NYU Chapter, is working on a grant proposal to help deploy lots of hotspots in the Village, around the NYU area. We’re working with them to help them with the technology aspect, and once they get the grant, there will be lots of work to do to get the WifiDog nodes configured and distributed for this project.
The Wall Street Journal on July 19 featured an article titled “Testing Out Wi-Fi Hot Spots”, in which Annelena Lobb puts a number of hotspot providers in New York City to the test. While she mostly had success with all of the hotspots she tried out, one in particular stood out:
But a number of our Wi-Fi experiences were pleasant. In the city’s Bryant Park, which has free Wi-Fi, the service worked seamlessly.
While NYCwireless no longer runs the Bryant Park hotspot, we sure did build it, and it still operates as flawlessly and with the same equipment as it did 3 years ago when we lit up Bryant Park.
This is a great testament to the knowledge and value of Community Wireless Networks in general, and NYCwireless in particular!