CBS will offer free wi-fi in a small section of midtown Manhattan. The area bordered by Times Square, Central Park South, 8th Ave. and 6th Ave. will become a massive wi-fi hotspot, with antennae on CBS billboards and some MTA subway entrances. CBS will subsidise the network with ad revenue from a web page that people see when logging into the hotspot. The big losers here: Starbucks/T-Mobile (SBUX/DT), hotels, and any other sucker who still thinks $10 for wi-fi access is a good deal.
One interesting point from the release: “This initiative is part of a 6-month pilot program with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Transit to test the potential communications capabilities of Wi-Fi technology.” Is the MTA getting a clue about its pitiful tech presence? Will the MTA eventually add wi-fi access to its stations? Will it use the web page to deliver real-time subway/bus locations/traffic/delay information? Or is that too much to dream for?
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