Friday, September 21, 2007

Free Wi-Fi for Roosevelt Island Public Spaces - When?

There is free wi-fi available in all 17 NYC Parks. According to the Daily News:

WiFi, short for wireless fidelity, works life this:A wireless Internet router sends a signal that's picked up by computer modems, personal digitial assistants and Internet-equipped cell phones within about 250 feet. The wireless signal is transmitted over the airwaves on the 2.4-gigahertz band, the same unlicensed spectrum microwaves travel on — and once dominated by the cries of infants on baby monitors.
About 300 U.S. municipalities have WiFi, or are planning for it.
New York isn't one of them, leaving independent organizations to fill the void.
One of them is Manhattan-based WiFi Salon. Along with a partner, Nokia, WiFi Salon has created 17 local hotspots, including seven in Central Park.
The Washington Post is reporting today about a remote Vietnamese village that is getting wireless broadband Internet access. According to the article:
WiMax and a satellite connection are bringing broadband Internet access to a remote Vietnamese village, part of a collaboration between the public and private sector to narrow the digital divide in rural Vietnam.

Ta Van, a small village located in Vietnam's northern Lao Cai province, has a wireless network that uses Wi-Fi and WiMax, a wide-area networking technology that offers high bandwidth. This wireless network is connected to the Internet over a link to Shin Corp.'s IPSTAR satellite that offers 2M bits per second (bps) of bandwidth on the downlink connection and a 512K bps uplink.
What about Roosevelt Island? I am aware of free outdoor wi-fi available on Roosevelt Island between buildings 3 and 4 of Southtown and, I believe, inside the Roosevelt Island Public Library. The June 3, 2006 Main Street Wire had an article about a company, Telkonet, that planned to develop Island wide wi-fi access though it did not appear to be free. According to the article:

The company providing Internet services at the Octagon Apartments hopes to provide similar services covering all of Roosevelt Island, using both "wi-fi" (wireless coverage via radio waves) and the existing power lines in residential buildings.

For other areas of Roosevelt Island, Telkonet President Frank Matarazzo says his company is contacting building owners, tenant associations, and others in an effort to secure contracts to provide the services. Where it is not provided as part of a blanket contract, NuVisions service can be purchased on an hourly basis. Current pricing is $9.95, for example, for a measured ten hours that can be used in bits and pieces over an extended period of time, or month-by-month for unlimited access at $29.95. Subscribers on the Island will be able to use NuVisions service anywhere it’s offered, not just on the Island.
Has there been any progress on bringing wi-fi, particularly free wi-fi to Roosevelt Island?


Anonymous said...

I bet if you walk around with your laptop you will always be able to pick up a free Wifi connection anywhere. So many ppl on RI with broadband internet access and wide-open wireless networks. In my apartment in Manhattan Park alone I have two open networks (and 10 closed ones) at my disposal.