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Free Wi-Fi in LIC expected to bring new business to neighborhood


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Long Island City is going wireless.

Late last month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced new plans to continue expanding wireless and broadband connectivity in New York City. These initiatives include free public Wi-Fi access in the five boroughs and evaluating broadband connectivity in office buildings.

“If New York City is going to remain competitive in the global economy, we must find ways to support the entrepreneurs who are driving technological advances and creating jobs,” said Bloomberg. “With these new initiatives, we are making targeted investments to improve our city’s wireless infrastructure and expand Internet access.”

The “Wireless Corridor Challenge,” which involved a competitive process beginning in the spring and was led by the city’s Economic Development Corporation, awarded five organizations the opportunity to help increase wireless connectivity in commercial and residential districts throughout the city.

The five organizations are the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Alliance for Downtown New York/LaunchLM, Brooklyn Academy of Music, GOWEX and the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership.

All the corridors, which include Downtown Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan and Long Island City, are expected to launch in December. The city is providing $900,000 in funding and $3.4 million will come from private sector commitments.

GOWEX will help bring free Wi-Fi access to the Long Island City area with the network being installed along the Vernon Boulevard, Jackson Avenue and Queens Plaza commercial and retail corridors.

“GOWEX is excited to partner with New York City to bring free Wi-Fi to all,” said Jenaro Garcia, CEO of GOWEX. “Wi-Fi is like water, it is essential to modern life and everybody should be able to benefit from it.”

Bringing free Wi-Fi access to different areas of the city is expected to attract new businesses to the neighborhoods, increase foot traffic and marketing within the various business districts, connect residents and visitors, and improve the quality of life.

In order to keep the Long Island City community informed, the Long Island City (LIC) Partnership will host an informational session with members of GOWEX on Wednesday, October 16 at Manducatis Rustica at 46-35 Vernon Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. To RSVP, email dfrankel@licpartnership.

“We’re very excited to be working with GOWEX to bring free Wi-Fi to Long Island City,” said Dana Frankel, district services manager of the LIC Partnership. “This particular network provides unique opportunities for businesses to communicate with customers and to promote their products and services…”

The LIC Partnership will also host another event in November which will serve as a training session for businesses to learn how they can use the network for promotion and customer interaction.

“We are getting the word out about the network through our digital communications and direct contact with community members and business owners,” said Frankel. “We hope that others in the community will help spread the word.”

 

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