Yesterday, Google (NYSE:GOOG) CTO Ben Fried announced their new free Wi-Fi service for the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Senator Charles Schumer also attended the press conference. The company is building up the Chelsea area because their New York City office is located there.
The Chelsea area, spans Gansevoort Street and 19th Street from 8th Avenue to the West Side Highway. The neighborhood also includes the Chelsea Triangle, 14th Street Park, and Gansevoort Plaza. The entire Chelsea area covers about a 13 block zone here in Manhattan.
Google recently constructed a high speed fiber-optic network in the Kansas City area as well. It’s currently capable of download speeds up to 1 Gps (gigabit per second). That is approximately two hundred times faster than your average Time Warner or Cablevision connection.
This Google project costs were about $115,000 to get all the technology installed with an annual maintenance cost of $45,000. Google will cover 66% of the expenses while the Chelsea Improvement Company, will paid for the rest. Referring to the cost, Senator Schumer said “It’s not very expensive at all — just a smidgeon of what Sandy cost.”