NEW YORK’S FIRST SOLAR-POWERED WIRELESS HOTSPOT LAUNCHED
NYCwireless and Solar One Bring Free Internet Access to Stuyvesant Cove Park
New York, N.Y., May 24 — NYCwireless, the community wireless organization that built free, public wireless hotpots in over ten parks and public spaces throughout New York City, has partnered with Solar One, a “Green Energy, Arts, and Education Center,” to bring the city’s first solar-powered free, public wireless Internet hotspot to Stuyvesant Cove Park. The new wireless network covers the north end of the park, which consists of 1.9 acres on the East River waterfront between 18th and 23rd Streets.
“This is a great partnership,” said NYCwireless board member Rob Kelley, who managed the project. “People who care about sustainable cities care about open access to information and the Stuyvesant Cove Park wireless network exemplifies both of these goals,” underscored Kelley.
NYCwireless and Solar One worked on the research, planning, surveying and installation of the network with a team of students from Monroe College in the Bronx. The students helped to make Stuyvesant Cove Park into one of the first NYCwireless SuperNodes (http://web1.nycwireless.net/projects/supernode/), pre-configured wireless hotspots that run open-source software.
“The students from Monroe College have been an incredible resource for NYCwireless,” according to Dana Spiegel, the executive director of NYCwireless, “They have embraced the mission of extending free, public wireless access throughout New York City with enthusiasm as well as working to identify new locations for SuperNodes in partnership with local businesses.”
The SuperNode — which can be deployed in parks and public spaces including coffee shops, restaurants, community centers and churches — allows hotspot owners to display a location-based home page, appear on a dynamic map of New York and generate usage statistics. Beginning this year, NYCwireless has been creating new SuperNodes around the city as well as converting its network of hotspots to SuperNodes.
Jamie Paquette, Solar One’s information technology and development associate, said, “Solar One is pleased to join the NYCwireless network of free, public wireless SuperNodes.”
The organization intends to use the network to provide location-based information about its summer arts and music programs in Stuyvesant Cove Park. These events include CitySol (http://www.citysol.org), a summer music and market series on Manhattan’s East River waterfront powered by the belief that bringing environmentalism to New York means first putting more New York into the environmental movement. Each free all-day event includes: renewable energy-powered live music featuring emerging NYC acts, interactive exhibits showcasing key innovations, practices and policies for New York’s sustainable future, and a green lifestyle marketplace offering apparel, electronics, household goods, media and much more.
The Stuyvesant Cove Park network is the first new wireless park network deployed by NYCwireless in 2006. NYCwireless and Solar One have plans to extend the network throughout the park and create SuperNodes at several additional parks in the coming months.
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, such as the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation and the Downtown Alliance, NYCwireless has built free, public wireless hotspots at Bryant Park, Union Square Park, City Hall Park, Bowling Green Park, Wall Street Park, the South Street Seaport, the World Financial Center Winter Garden, 60 Wall Street Atrium, Stone Street, Vietnam Veterans Plaza, and Tompkins Square Park. In addition, NYCwireless worked with Community Access to build free wireless networks in three NYCHA-licensed affordable housing residences. NYCwireless also serves as a member of the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee.
About Solar One
Solar One (http://www.solar1.org), the City’s first solar-powered “Green Energy, Arts, and Education Center” founded in 2001, inspires New Yorkers to become environmentally responsible city dwellers. Solar One is located in a solar-powered building that produces most of its own power in Stuyvesant Cove Park, which it maintains. The organization (1) facilitates hands on energy conservation education through its own use of solar power and other resource saving techniques; (2) generates a better understanding of water ecology through its immediate access to and use of the East River estuary; (3) provides the community with sustainable film, dance, and music performances; and, (4) reinforces the importance of our natural environment through its preservation and maintenance of Stuyvesant Cove Park, a two acre park on the banks of the East River.