This summer, New York subway riders might be able to actually get some work done on the train (rather than just beating their high scores in Temple Run). Beginning Monday, free Wi-Fi will be available at a number of stations courtesy of Google.
Boingo Wireless, the Wi-Fi provider well known for its wireless service for airports, has teamed up with Google Offers, the search company’s Web page for getting deals, to offer the free Internet. Google is paying for the service from now until Sept. 7.
Here’s a list of the stations where free Wi-Fi is available:
• A, C, E station at Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street
• L station at Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street
• C, E station at Eighth Avenue and West 23rd Street
• 1, 2, 3 station at Seventh Avenue and West 14th Street
• F, M station at Sixth Avenue and West 14th Street
• L station at Sixth Avenue and West 14th Street
Boingo said its Wi-Fi would be available in 36 New York subway stations by the end of the year, and in 270 stations in the next five years. The company offers several service plans for its Wi-Fi, such as $10 per month for unlimited use on any two Internet-enabled devices, or $8 per month for unlimited access on a mobile device.
Though Google’s promotion of the service ends in September, Boingo expects that it will continue to receive sponsorships to provide free Wi-Fi for the New York subway system regularly, according to Katie O’Neill, a spokeswoman for the company.
The free Wi-Fi promotions would add to the city’s existing initiative to bring cellphone service to the subway system. Transit Wireless, the company offering the service, started a pilot program last year, in which it installed fiber optic networks for cellphone connections on some platforms. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has said it hopes to extend the service to other parts of the system.
While a free Internet connection may sound like good news for everyone, the prospect of a wired subway system has been deeply controversial in New York. Sure, you could shoot off some e-mails and rearrange meetings while commuting, but some people may be offended by self-absorbed smartphone addicts standing in the middle of a crowded train, mesmerized with their Facebook updates.
(Source: NY Times)