Google + Chelsea = Free Public Wifi

Free Wifi

If you haven’t heard, Chelsea has free wifi!

That’s right FREE WIFI!

Thanks to Google and the Chelsea Improvement Company, residents of (and folks passing through) Chelsea will have the luxury of free public wifi.

Now you’ll be able to access the internet – outside – without having to pop into a store with a wifi signal.

Or suffering through spotty 3G or 4G LTE cellular service.

Folks, like Mayor Bloomberg, are all excited about the initiative, which was almost two years in the making.

And Google is footing a majority of the tab to set up and maintain the network.

But don’t get it twisted.

This is not an altogether altruistic move by any means.

Google has offices in Chelsea.

And free wifi in the 10 block radius outside of Google’s offices, ensures that Google employees can still be productive when they step outside to grab a Cappuccino from Starbucks.

Although if they’re getting Cappuccinos from Starbucks…they’ve got wifi…


And the PR bump won’t hurt.

But Google’s move does have a bunch of positive points, beyond the obvious.

It’s a model that, if successful, can be deployed to support other more needy neighborhoods.

I doubt too many in Chelsea have problems accessing the internet. 

The initiative is being touted as Manhattan’s first “hot” neighborhood.

It’s further evidence of New York City’s effort to brand itself as a haven for high tech and media companies.

New York is really trying to live up to the Silicon Alley moniker, and this helps legitimize the tag.

The wifi network only works outside, so if you’re in a building in Chelsea, you’re not going to be able to jump on.

But if you’re outside, look for the wifi network called CIC Free WiFi.

You don’t need a password, so if you’re ever in Chelsea, jump on.

Just remember though, it’s GOOGLE.

So if you use their network, expect that they’re going to:

  1. Track your every move
  2. Monitor the sites you visit
  3. Mine your data
  4. All of the above

I’m just saying.

Nothings free.

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Filed under digital advocacy, technology

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