Residents of the southwest Chelsea neighborhood of New York city are in for a treat, courtesy of Google. The company announced Tuesday that it has begun offering free public WiFi internet access outdoors in an area bounded roughly by Gansevoort St. and 19th St. from Eighth Ave. to the West Side highway. This will include public spaces in the neighborhood, such as the Chelsea Triangle, 14th Street Park, and Gansevoort Plaza.
In a statement, Google's Chief Information Officer, Ben Fried, said that not only will the network serve as a "resource for the 2,000+ residents of the Fulton Houses, it will also serve the 5,000+ student population of Chelsea as well as the hundreds of workers, retail customers and tourists who visit our neighborhood every day."
Google has also recently launched a plan to provide high-speed fiber-optic Internet access in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and currently offers free WiFi in its home city of Mountain View, California.
At a news conference in Manhattan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg lauded Google for its work in bringing better access to the city.
"New York is determined to become the world's leading digital city, and universal access to high-speed Internet is one of the core building blocks of that vision," Bloomberg said. "Free WiFi across this part of Chelsea takes us another step closer to that goal."
Google is continuing to work with the city to expand public internet access across the island. For now, here's the map of the Wifi access areas in Chelsea: