NYC Subway to Get Wireless, Cell Service

Australian company revives 3-year-old plan
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2010 6:15 PM CDT
NYC Subway to Get Wireless, Cell Service
Commuters board a subway train in New York, Wednesday, July 28, 2010.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A plan to bring cellphone and wireless Internet service to New York's subway is set to start after years of delay. The $200 million project was hobbled by the recession but has been made viable again by a large financial commitment from Broadcast Australia, Bloomberg reports. The firm bought a majority stake in Transit Wireless, the group of phone and construction companies that took on the contract.

The group plans to install wireless antennas in six stations along the 14th Street L line over the next 2 months, and it has 4 years to wire up the remaining 271 stations. In the end, riders will have cellphone and WiFi service on station platforms and mezzanines, and in some parts of some tunnels. The MTA is expected to gain $46 million from Transit Wireless over 10 years; Transit Wireless will in turn make money by charging the likes of Sprint and Verizon to offer their services on the subway network.
(More Verizon stories.)

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