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Largest free public Wi-Fi network in US coming to Harlem

IMAGE: Michael Bloomberg
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been a champion of efforts to expand wireless connectivity in New York City. Andrew Burton

New York City is rolling out what Mayor Michael Bloomberg says will be the nation’s largest continuous free outdoor public Wi-Fi network, covering 95 blocks in Harlem.

The Harlem WiFi Network, when completed in May, will span from 110th to 138th Streets between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Madison Avenue. It will provide free on-the-go connectivity to about 80,000 Harlem residents, as well as businesses and visitors.

“Our new Harlem wireless network brings critical connectivity to residents and visitors, giving them 24/7 access to everything from education materials for kids, to information about Harlem’s rich history and attractions, to everyday needs like paying bills, checking library hours — or even just keeping tabs on the Knicks and Nets,” Bloomberg said in a press release.

The public Wi-Fi network is funded through a donation from the Fuhrman Family Foundation. It will provides users with free, unlimited Internet access from portable devices 24/7 in outdoor locations within the zone.

The rollout is being done in three phases. City officials announced the launch of the network’s first phase —110th to 120th Street, between Madison Avenue & Frederick Douglass Blvd. — on Tuesday.