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AT&T (s t) announced on Tuesday that it’s extending free Wi-Fi to five more New York parks, part of the plan to bring Wi-Fi to 26 locations in 20 parks spread throughout the five boroughs of New York. The new sites are Astoria Park, in Queens; Herbert Von King Park and McCarren Park Field House, in Brooklyn; Tompkins Square Park, in Manhattan; and Clove Lakes Park, in Staten Island.
They join existing free AT&T Wi-Fi installations at Battery Park; Rumsey Playfield; areas of Thomas Jefferson Park, in East Harlem; and Joyce Kilmer Park, in the Bronx, which were all launched this past summer. The park Wi-Fi hotspots complement larger Wi-Fi hot zones that AT&T has built in Times Square and areas around Midtown and are part of AT&T’s nationwide network of 27,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.
As we’ve mentioned, this isn’t just goodwill by a big carrier. These Wi-Fi networks are helpful in relieving traffic from overworked cellular networks. And they present opportunities to advertise as well. Ultimately, carriers will start to plug in Wi-Fi as part of a bigger heterogeneous network that utilizes a range of technologies to provide broader connectivity to users.
With Wi-Fi roaming technology maturing, it will allow users to easily jump onto Wi-Fi networks seamlessly, so they won’t even know when they’re moving between networks. Having a built-out network of Wi-Fi will become a major asset for carriers. So expect to see more hotspots like this pop up, though we’ll have to see if they’ll all be free in the future.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ed Yourdon