Community Hotspots

Community Hotspot Project

Get the NYCwireless Community Hotspot Kit

The NYCwireless Community Hotspot Kit allows you to create a Community Hotspot anywhere, with only an old PC and a few extra items. Configuring the kit is easy and takes only a few minutes. Once configured, you can instantly run Neighbornode and Wi-Fi Thank You, which come with the kit, or you can create an entirely new Comunity Hotspot application of your own. Installation Instructions Configuration XML CD-ROM Image 

What makes a Hotspot a Community Hotspot?

Many people choose to leave their wifi access open, allowing others in the vicinity free access to the Internet. These are known as open access points. What turns these ordinary wifi access points into Community Hotspots is when the owner takes the additional step of configuring software on the access point that allows everyone who logs on to interact with each other in some way. With this extra step, access points that were formerly an anonymous experience for users become flashpoints for communication and exchange between people in a local area. The result is an online space where communities can grow and flourish.

Examples of Community Hotspot applications


With Neighbornode, residents who live on the same street can post messages to one another via local online bulletin boards. Local issues, upcoming events, and items for sale or trade are all topics for discussion on the boards, giving users a great way to share information with their neighbors and get to know the people around them.

Wi-Fi Thank You

Wi-Fi Thank You enables users of public hotspots to send their thanks to those who host the open nodes. In posting thank-you messages, users are not only thanking the individual who allowed them to access the Internet, but are giving support and momentum to public wifi movements everywhere. 

Join the email list

NYCwireless hosts an email list to let people discuss setting up and running Community Hotspots. Our mailing list is You must join our list in order to post. 


Akron Beacon Journal ( – Doing It Yourself (11/1/2004) New York Times – Circuits: Where Good Wi-Fi Makes Good Neighbors (10/21/2004) 

Who are we?

Dana Spiegel is the Executive Director of NYCwireless, as well as a software consultant who builds wireless and social applications through his company, sociableDESIGNJohn Geraci is the creator of Neighbornode, and is a researcher and graduate student at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, studying how communities can use wireless technologies to better communicate.

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Bringing Wi-Fi to Public Spaces in NYC

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