Google offers free Wi-Fi in New York City

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New York officials hope the service will help boost the city's efforts to attract technology companies and startups. The cluster of technology companies in Manhattan have earned the nickname "Silicon Alley." 

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the network "will help to cement New York’s reputation as a leader in technological development, will help the city continue to attract business and grow our booming Silicon Alley, and will take us one step closer to our goal of becoming the most well connected city in America.”

“New York is determined to become the world’s leading digital city, and universal access to high-speed Internet is one the core building blocks of that vision,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) said. “Thanks to Google, free Wi-Fi across this part of Chelsea takes us another step closer to that goal.”

Ben Fried, Google's chief information officer, noted that the network will cover public housing units, schools, stores and other businesses. 

The service is unrelated to Google Fiber — the company's experimental ultra high-speed broadband service, which is currently available only in Kansas City.