It was speculated this morning that Google would be bringing fiber Internet to residents of New York City due in large part to a job posting. That rumor turned out to be a bust as Google has instead announced that it will be bringing free Wi-Fi to a neighborhood in New York City.
At a press conference this morning, Google announced that its New York headquarters in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan will provide free Wi-Fi to residents in the area. The company partnered with the city government and a nonprofit, the Chelsea Improvement Company, to make it possible.
It’s no Google Fiber, but both Google and the city are hoping the free Wi-Fi attracts a number of small businesses and entrepreneurs to the area to set up shop. Google’s friendliness towards entrepreneurs may also help stimulate even more growth in the area as New York, like other cities across the nation, works to grow its tech sector.
Speaking at the event, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that “New York is destined to become the world’s leading digital city, and universal access to high-speed Internet is one of the core building blocks of that vision.”
Google is doing its part for one of the many neighborhoods in New York City, but other parts of the city will obviously be left out. The speculation of a Google Fiber launch may have been premature, but New York City could take a cue from Chattanooga or Seattle and offer cheap fiber Internet to its citizens. It’s already proving to attract plenty of talent in Kansas City. If Bloomberg really wants to make New York a “leading digital city,” he’ll have to either push the city or stingy ISPs to start providing decent Internet.[h/t: The Hill]