Manhattan to Launch Free Wi-Fi

Open access trial in 20-block midtown stretch
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2007 5:38 AM CST
New Yorkers will be able to surf the web for free anywhere in the CBS Mobile Zone.   (Index Stock)
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(Newser) – A big slice of the Big Apple will get free Wi-Fi at the end of the month, courtesy of the city and CBS. New Yorkers with Wi-Fi enabled technology will be able to access high-speed wireless service at no cost in a 20-block zone between Times Square and Central Park—at least for a six-month trial period.

Wi-Fi projects in other cities have suffered setbacks or gone kaput in recent months, but insiders think the city's cost-effective model could work. The system will be powered by CBS billboards and electronic information panels of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority fitted with transmitters. If successful, the "CBS Mobile Zone" could be expanded across the city—and nation.