Free Wi-Fi comes to New York City via Google Offers, Boingo

Six subway stations and more than 200 hotspot locations in The Big Apple get free Wi-Fi as Boingo rolls out its massive wireless plan that will eventually reach all of the city's underground transit stations.

New Yorkers can now spend their time on the subway checking e-mail and surfing the Web on a free wireless network. Starting today, Google Offers is sponsoring free Wi-Fi via Boingo Wireless in six MTA subway stations and more than 200 hotspot locations across New York City.

"We're glad our riders will be able to access free Wi-Fi this summer in six subway stations to stay connected while they're underground," MTA director of strategic initiatives Jerome Page said in a statement. "Reliable Wi-Fi is an important benefit for straphangers in New York City subway stations."

Google Offers is the Web giant's deals service, which sells online coupons for restaurants, shopping, and activities. It operates in New York City and 39 other cities across the U.S. Sponsoring free Wi-Fi as a marketing move makes sense for Google -- not only is it advertising its Offers service, it's also making it easier for users to buy its deals.

Here are the subway stations that offer the free wireless:

A, C, E station at Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street

L station at Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street

C, E station at Eighth Avenue and West 23rd Street

1, 2, 3 station at Seventh Avenue and West 14th Street

F, M station at Sixth Avenue and West 14th Street

L station at Sixth Avenue and West 14th Street

The free Wi-Fi kick off began today and lasts through September 7. This is just the beginning of a colossal rollout of accessible wireless in New York's subway stations.

According to Boingo, 36 stations will have Wi-Fi by the end of the year, including Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and Columbus Circle. And in the next five years, wireless will become available in all of the city's nearly 300 stations, which an average of 1.6 billion passengers pass through every year. Come September, however, the Wi-Fi will no longer be free.

The Boingo and Google Offers collaboration comes as news that accessing wireless networks is about to get a lot easier. In March, the Wireless Broadband Alliance announced a partnership designed to simplify the way in which smartphones and tablets connect to Wi-Fi hot spots cutting down on confusing settings reconfigurations and maze-like Web access.

About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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