Google has teamed up with city government and the Chelsea Improvement Project, a local New York City non-profit, to provide free Wi-Fi to the hundreds of thousands of residents and tourists who travel through this lower Manhattan neighborhood each year. Chelsea is best known as a chic district, home to Google's major NYC offices, the Apple store, and numerous high-end shops, but also contains a large number of low-income housing projects and public schools.
"Google is proud to provide free WiFi in the neighborhood we have called home for over 6 years. This network will not only be a resource for the 2000+ residents of the Fulton Houses, it will also serve the 5,000+ student population of Chelsea as well as the hundreds of workers, retail customers and tourists who visit our neighborhood every day." said Ben Fried, Chief Information Officer for Google.
Free WiFi is now available outdoors, roughly between Gansevoort St. and 19 St. from 8th Ave to the West Side Highway, as well as the neighborhood’s public spaces, including the Chelsea Triangle, 14th Street Park, and Gansevoort Plaza. The Chelsea WiFi Network, as it has been dubbed, was designed and installed by Sky-Packets. While the service promises to work well outdoors, sources say users may have less luck inside the dense, pre-war buildings that populate the area.