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Free Wi-Fi coming to Harlem, NYC: Miracle on (and around) 134th street

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In terms of providing free access to public Wi-Fi, the U.S. has quite a long way to go. However, one of the world’s biggest cities is taking a significant step towards that effort.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Harlem, one of its most famous neighborhoods, will soon begin to enjoy access to the nation’s biggest free public Wi-Fi network. This won’t take terribly long to wrap up either. Dubbed the Harlem Wi-Fi Network, it should be completed around the time the Mets sink to last place for good next year:  May 2014. (Zing!)

The Harlem Wi-Fi Network will cover an area that stretches from 110th Street to 138th Street between Madison Avenue and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. The network will provide free, wireless Internet access to roughly 80,000 New York City residents and reportedly span 95 city blocks.

Here’s what Mayor Bloomberg had to say about the project.

“Our new Harlem wireless network brings critical connectivity to residents and visitors, giving them 24/7 access to everything from education materials for kids, to information about Harlem’s rich history and attractions, to everyday needs like paying bills, checking library hours — or even just keeping tabs on the Knicks and Nets.”

 There are no caps on data either. Access to the Harlem Wi-Fi Network will be unlimited and rolled out in a trio of phases, with the initial phase covering the area from 110th to 120th Streets between Frederick Douglass Blvd and Madison Avenue. It’s currently unclear when this first phase will begin and be completed.

For many in the area, the announcement of free public Wi-Fi is likely the best Christmas present they could have hoped for.

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Konrad Krawczyk
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