Category Archives: News

Correction for "Google Sponsors Bryant Park Wi-Fi" Story

To whom it may concern at the Heartland Institute,

In your story, “Google Sponsors Bryant Park Wi-Fi”, published in the November issue of IT&T News, Mr. Steven Titch makes a number of factual mistakes.

Specifically, NYCwireless (the correct name and spelling for our organization) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed and run by volunteers from the New York City metropolitan area. We have never had any affiliation with the New York City government, nor were we formed by the city. We are a wholly independent organization.

In addition, Bryant Park is a privately operated and funded park. The Bryant Park Restoration Corporation has received a license from the NYC Parks Department to run the park, and its operations are wholly independent from any involvement and policy of the NYC Parks Department. The NYC Parks Department, and indeed the entire NYC government, has never had any involvement in the creation, operation, or funding of any of the dozens of free, public wireless hotspots built by or in conjunction with NYCwireless, including Bryant Park, Union Square Park, City Hall Park, and South Street Seaport, to name a few.

Your conclusion that “Bryant Park offers more evidence that cities cannot operate free Wi-Fi networks” is specious and groundless at best.

I appreciate your posting a correction to the errors noted above.

Dana Spiegel
Executive Director, NYCwireless

Wifidog Rolls Out — with Offer!

Our pilot testing of the WifiDog federation is complete. WifiDog is a hotspot management software from Ile Sans Fil that runs on a standard Linksys WRT54G using open source firmware. With WifiDog, we can now have a federation of nodes that have access to a central server for:

  • real-time monitoring of node status
  • managed user authentication
  • splash page and login page hosting
  • web-based content management (though we haven’t quite figured it out yet!)
  • traffic statistics for each node (user counts, total throughput, and traffic by time of day)

Our federation now looks like this:

Our goal is to look like this:

We want YOU to upgrade to a WifiDog. If you run an NYCwireless hotspot, we want you to switch to a WifiDog unit. If you’re planning to put up a New York hotspot, we want you make WifiDog part of your setup.

For more info on flashing a Linksys so it can run WifiDog, please see:

But wait! We’ll trade you! If you bring us a brand new plain jane Linksys WRT54G or GS, we’ll give you back a preconfigured Linksys WifiDog.

Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you! Congratulations to all who have contributed so far, and to future members and users!

NY Daily News Published Poorly Researched Article about New York City Hotspots

also published on Wireless Community blog

The New York Daily News published a poorly researched article today about new Wi-Fi hotspots in New York City. They fail to mention the dozen or so parks that NYCwireless has already helped “light up”. Here’s the letter I have written to the newspaper in response:

The article “Wi-Fi umbrella to cover 10 city parks” by Austin Fenner on Sept. 13 claims that New Yorkers will “soon be able to surf (the Internet) in city parks.”

This has already been the case for the past 4 years. NYCwireless, a non-profit organization that advocates and enables the growth of free, public wireless Internet access in New York City and surrounding areas, has worked since 2001 to bring free public Wi-Fi to city parks and other public spaces.

Working with other sponsoring organizations such as the Alliance for Downtown New York and the Union Square Partnership, local businesses, and residents, NYCwireless has helped bring Wi-Fi to Bryant Park, Union Square Park, City Hall Park, Tomkins Square Park, the South Street Seaport, and Bowling Green Park, among others. NYCwireless also works with other non-profits, such as Community Access, to bring free Wi-Fi to underserved and underprivileged city residents in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

These Wi-Fi hotspots have been in use by many New Yorkers and visitors to the city for the past 3-4 years, and have been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles.

Wireless over-crowding study needs participants!

NYCwireless is looking for NYC residents that think they are receiving interference from neighboring wireless access points. We hear this complaint often enough that a study of the problem is required. Access to your apt will be required so we can monitor RF utilization with diagnostic equipment. Please shoot me an email ( with the description of your problem and your location. One way to “see” interference is to bring up the list of wireless networks your computer can detect. If your getting a list of 5 or more wireless networks then maybe your suffering interference. Although there is no way to know for sure until we test on-site.

Send Hardware and Wireless Equipment to Help Katrina Emergency Relief

If anyone has wireless equipment or other hardware that they’d like to provide for Katrina relief, please contact Matt Barr below. He is going down to Texas tomorrow with other people to help establish wireless networks for emergency communications support.

From: Matthew Barr
Date: September 7, 2005 9:25:38 PM EDT

Dana- We have 3 people from NY & CT going down tomorrow, as well as sasha’s folks..

We 3 are leaving from LGA, at 1230, to San Antonio- to help set up and get Kelly AFB working tech wise. More than that… we’ll figure out on the ground.


Matthew Barr
Managing Partner
Datalyte Consulting, LLC
Apple Authorized Reseller
(646) 765-6878