AT&T is giving away free WiFi to all users at 20 New York City parks, with 23 free wireless hotspot locations available as of this summer. Free WiFi will eventually be offered at 26 total locations as part of the five-year initiative, with service already available at Battery Park, Joyce Kilmer Park and Thomas Jefferson Park.
Compatible with smartphones, tablet PCs, laptops and other mobile devices, wireless connection points will eventually be located throughout the five boroughs, including the following parks:
Bronx – Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx River Park and Devoe Park
Brooklyn – Brooklyn Bridge Park, Fort Greene Park, Herbert Von King Park, McCarren Park and Prospect Park
Manhattan – Battery Park, Thomas Jefferson Park, Central Park (multiple locations), the High Line, Holcombe Rucker Park, Marcus Garvey Park and Tompkins Square Park
Queens – Astoria Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park and MacDonald Park
Staten Island – Clove Lake Park and South Beach
"In May, we laid out a strategy to make New York City the nation's leading digital city, and AT&T's generous initiative to bring Wi-Fi to 20 City parks will help us get there," said Mayor Bloomberg. "New York City has the greatest network of public parks in the world, and we've invested heavily to expand and enhance them. Now, thanks to the terrific corporate citizenship of AT&T, they will provide an even better experience for New Yorkers and visitors."
Hoping to advance New York’s position in the technology world, the venture aims to get citizens and visitors outdoors more, allowing them to access high-speed Internet while enjoying the pleasures of sunlight.
Happily, one needn’t be an AT&T customer to appreciate the gesture. But it remains dubious as to whether recipients will actually appreciate the chance to reconnect with Mother Nature, or simply use it as another excuse to spend more time staring slack-jawed at PerezHilton.com.