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Free WiFi access for entire NY City neighbourhood

Published on Jan 9, 2013 6:52 AM
New York Senator Charles Schumer holds up his tablet at an announcement of neighborhood WiFi in New York January 8, 2013. Google with the Chelsea Improvement Company announced that Southwest Chelsea would become the first WiFi neighborhood in Manhattan. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - A Manhattan neighborhood has become the first in New York to have totally free outdoor wireless Internet access, courtesy of Internet giant Google.

"All you need is a laptop or smartphone or other wireless-enabled device and a web browser to get online," Google's chief information officer Ben Fried said at a press conference announcing the free Internet access, which covers about 20 city blocks in the Chelsea neighbourhood of Manhattan.

The neighbourhood is where Google has a large corporate presence, making it a logical place for the massive free Internet hotspot for New Yorkers toting WiFi-ready devices.

"New York is the second largest Google office in the world," said Mr Fried, flanked by city Mayor Michael Bloomberg and US Senator Chuck Schumer.

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