The Recession Shuts Down Free WiFi In NYC Parks

The free wi-fi formerly available at many New York City parks is no longer available as a vendor that supplied Internet access for 10 patches of green, including Central Park, has shut down due to lack of financing.

Crain’s New York: The vendor, WiFi Salon, which won the contract from the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation in 2004 to wire 10 parks in four boroughs, including Central Park, quietly shutdown in October due to lack of financing and is in the process of removing equipment. The contract expired Sept. 30, and it wasn’t financially feasible for WiFi Salon to continue on its own.

“We didn’t have the sponsor to pay to continue the network. It was too costly,” said Marshall Brown, WiFi Salon’s founder. “It is tough to find the means to build it out when the city is in budgetary straits, and Wall Street has evaporated.”…

For now, free Wi-Fi has ceased at seven formerly wired locations inside Central Park, two locations inside Prospect Park, and at Washington Square Park, Battery Park, Riverside Park, Van Cortlandt, Orchard Beach, Pelham Bay Park and Corona-Flushing Meadows.

Bryant Park’s independent Wi-Fi network is still up and running.

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