New York City Subways & Car Services To Get Free Wi-Fi

After three years of stalled progress, New York subway riders will soon be able to surf the Web via free Wi-Fi. Transit Wireless, a conglomerate of wireless and construction companies that was awarded a contract back in 2007 to embark on a Wi-Fi project with New York Transit, has come up with the money it needs to move forward with the project.

Broadcast Australia will foot the bill that is expected to cost $200 million. As part of the deal, Broadcast Australia will take a majority stake in Transit Wireless. In 2007, Transit Wireless promised to complete the job in 10 years. Now, it will have two years to wire six subterranean stations near 14th Street on Manhattan’s West Side to transmit mobile-phone signals to passengers on the platform. It will also have as many as four more years to complete the remaining 271 underground stations.

The Wi-Fi will come by means of smoke detector-size antennas which Transit Wireless will begin installing within the next two months. Once the project is complete, riders will have mobile service on the platform, mezzanines and portions of the tunnels. Because the work on the subway system is limited to the platforms, it is not expected to interfere with regular train service.

As early as this fall, car passengers and anyone else who happens to be within 400 feet of Internet-enabled vehicles may be able to surf as well. Venture capitalist Alex Mashinsky plans to outfit 1,000 livery cars in New York City with free, ad-supported Wi-Fi. The mobile hotpots will enable car passengers as well as anyone who is within 400 feet of the Internet-enabled vehicles to surf the Web.

In the beginning, cars from LimoRes Car & Limo Service, UTOG Corporate Car Service, and Velocity Limo will get the Wi-Fi service. Eventually, Mashinsky hopes to be able to offer Wi-Fi beyond just the inside of cars. Since livery cars idle extensively, many people on foot will be able to take advantage of the initial free Wi-Fi offering. Once a person walks beyond the range of the hotspot, however, the individual must find a new hotspot or stop surfing. Mashinsky hopes next-generation wireless technology will address this and make it easier for cars to provide Wi-Fi to the streets of Manhattan.

Via:  Bloomberg
Marius Malek 4 years ago

I can see this helping commuters who are traveling to work. You can check your work email, personal email, or just kill some time looking up vids on youtube. Smart idea. 

inspector 4 years ago

Great, i can now surf HH when underground! :D Now there's never nothing to do while on a train. How fast are the connections? Also this won't affect prices to take the train, will it? :D

fat78 4 years ago

wi fi is being put in everything you can think of now.

kid007 4 years ago

great so now no-one would not cry about overwhelming the network :), this is something i have said over and over again most countries outside the U.S.A have move that way and have help a lot their local phone networks... to bad it has taken them forever to do this...

digitaldd 4 years ago

A new nightmare, my commute.  Sad I imagine people who are annoying enough now that they can have their headphones on and still have the volume up load enough to drown out my listening to podcasts with in ear headphones. Or the ones who bring the 15-17inch laptops on the train to play games now will have internet access, i can imagine people watching youtube videos in the subway with nary a headphone in sight. It will only get worse.

rapid1 4 years ago

That is very true kid007, for a couple of years now since they started talking about broadband being accessible everywhere, I have been saying the same thing. For the government or companies for that matter try to wire the entire US it seems almost ludicrous to me. I am sure it can and will be done on a city basis much like this, and in specific retail locations (IE: McDonald's, BK, most large book stores, malls etc), but on a wide scale basis it is all much more feasible financially wirelessly.

Mrbrownsound 4 years ago

Sounds very useful for me. Although is it only the platforms? Or will I get wifi in the train as it moves undergrounds as well? The NYC subway platforms are so hot, wet and dirty that I don't think I'd spend my time surfing the web there. I'd wait until I get in the air conditioned train to get anything done.

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