NYC’s Free Wi-Fi Kiosks to Benefit Wealthier Neighborhoods

November 24, 2014

12:41 pm

In July of this year, we reported that NYC was one step closer to providing free Wi-Fi kiosks to the public by transforming the city’s old phone booths. The initiative has received a lot of praise from city advocates and tech innovators, as the move essentially will help to make Internet accessible to many who can’t afford to pay for Internet service themselves. Well, it seems that despite NYC’s Mayor de Blasio’s perceived intentions of making this the case, the NY Daily News has reported that this “five-borough Wi-Fi network” will disproportionately benefit wealthier neighborhoods – with broadband connections to operate 10 times faster than in poorer neighborhoods.

“The speedier systems are flanked by advertising — and advertisers prefer wealthier eyes. As a result, all of the 2,500-plus locations in Manhattan are high speed, giving the borough with 20% of the city’s population fully 65% of all the fast kiosks,” writes the Daily News.

According to the Daily News, the proposed service will operate much faster in Manhattan and the more upscale neighborhoods of Queens and Brooklyn. Because the initiative will rely on the support of advertisement, companies prefer to advertise in the wealthier sections of NYC. Read more from the exclusive coverage over at the Daily News.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things.

Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in ‘Doctor Who’, Murakami, ‘The Mindy Project’, and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a “writer”. Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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