NYC Parks and AT&T Expand Free Public Wi-Fi and Solar Mobile Charging in Parks and at Beaches Citywide
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FACIP, recently joined AT&T’s New York President Marissa Shorenstein, Bronx Borough President Rueben Diaz, Jr. and community members to announce a deal to extend free public AT&T Wi-Fi in the Parks for an additional five years. The free Wi-Fi is available, regardless of wireless carrier, to parkgoers at 27 locations in 21 parks across the five boroughs. The collaboration increases the number of free solar mobile charging stations to 34 units at 15 parks and beaches; and four new parks will receive the popular AT&T Street Charge units—Queens Flushing Meadows Park at David Dinkins Circle and Ederle Terrace, Brooklyn’s Sunset Park and Prospect Park at the LeFrak Center and Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx, where the announcement was made.
Launched in 2011, the Wi-Fi in the Parks initiative was the City’s first free public Wi-Fi program that allows all smartphone and tablet users to connect. Through the program there have been 8.6 million connections.“The renewal of our partnership with AT&T, expanding free Wi-Fi and charging stations to more of our parks this summer and fall, furthers Parks’ commitment to utilizing technology to serve parkgoers city wide,” said Commissioner Silver. “Through amenities like Wi-Fi and charging stations in parks, we help increase technological access, while gathering insights into how our visitors engage our green spaces; insights that strengthen our strategic approach to building a better park system for the future.”
“Over the past five years, millions of visitors to New York’s parks and beaches have connected over Wi-Fi in the Parks and charged their devices at AT&T Street Charge units,” said Marissa Shorenstein, AT&T’s New York State President. “It’s been exciting to watch these programs become proof points for how a city can leverage advances in technology to keep its citizens connected. AT&T is excited to continue working with the de Blasio administration to offer these free services and support New Yorkers on the go.”
“This agreement will serve communities throughout the five boroughs, and provide internet access to more New Yorkers than ever – and that can only be a good thing as we move further into the 21st century,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I’m especially proud that we’re extending this initiative to Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx, which is in my district. I’d like to thank the de Blasio Administration, the New York City Parks Department, and AT&T for prioritizing technology and internet access, and I look forward to expanding access even further in the future.”
“We welcome the expansion of free wireless services in twenty four of our public parks across the city and the increment on the number of free solar mobile charging stations,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I want to thank AT&T for enhancing the park experience for our residents by increasing the access of Wi-Fi services throughout city parks; and for their efforts to expand park amenities, as well as for helping our residents to stay better connected and helping getting people outdoors.”
“Reliable wireless internet service has become a basic utility that we depend upon for safety, navigation, and useful information in our fast-paced city,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Brooklynites are always on the move, and we want to remain connected wherever we are in the borough. AT&T’s free Wi-Fi and charging station program offers a critical resource to park visitors from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Brooklyn Heights, particularly those who lack access to a quality connection at home.”
“The Prospect Park Alliance is delighted to partner with AT&T and NYC Parks to continue to provide free technology amenities to park visitors,” said Sue Donoghue, president of the Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit that manages the park in partnership with the City. “The LeFrak Center at Lakeside, which opened just over two years ago and now sees hundreds of thousands of visitors per year, is one of the most popular destinations in Prospect Park. With the LeFrak Center’s new AT&T Street Charge stations, community members can enhance their experience at the roller skating rink, Splash Pad, and bike and boat rentals, and stay connected with the new Prospect Park mobile app launching this summer.”
“Thanks to AT&T Wi-Fi in the Parks and AT&T Street Charge, Queens residents and visitors don’t have to choose between staying connected or enjoying some time at one of our beautiful parks,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “NYC Parks and AT&T deserve to be commended for extending the AT&T Wi-Fi in the Parks program for five more years and for increasing the availability of AT&T Street Charge units. This modern technology allows our parks to be even more fun to visit.”
“Wireless internet is the key public utility for the digital age,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “By making wi-fi access available in our public parks, AT&T is doing a tremendous service both for residents and visitors to our city, and they have my thanks.”
“The free Wi-Fi and charging stations provided by AT&T and City Parks are welcomed by Staten Islanders and support our lifestyles in 2016, allowing us to enjoy the outdoors and all these parks have to offer while staying connected,” said Borough President James Oddo.
AT&T Street Charge units were introduced in 2013 in response to power and connection issues New Yorkers experienced in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The solar-powered units operate in all weather conditions and are available throughout the summer and fall in the five boroughs.