Time Warner Cable, Cablevision launch Wi-Fi in NYC parks

New Wi-Fi service deployed to 32 New York City parks via franchise agreements with Time Warner Cable and Cablevision will be maintained for public use through July 2020, according to city officials.

Non-cable subscribers will be able to surf the Web through the hotspots for 30 minutes each day for free, or pay 99 cents for one day of access. Cablevision and Time Warner Cable subscribers will get unlimited free access to the hotspots.

Franchise renewal agreements negotiated between New York City and the two cable operators were finalized in 2011 and call for a $10 million investment fund for Wi-Fi deployment in parks and public spaces. The goal of the program is provide Wi-Fi to underserved areas across all five of the city's boroughs.

Additional Wi-Fi park locations across the city are expected to be launched on a rolling basis. The cable operators' Wi-Fi services are in addition to existing Wi-Fi service in parks provided by AT&T (NYSE:T) and other organizations.

While Time Warner Cable and Cablevision are part of the CableWiFi consortium, which includes Comcast, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks, the parks' Wi-Fi deployment will not use the CableWiFi network ID, according to our sister publication FierceCable. Time Warner Cable spokeswoman Shelley Loo said the hotspots in the parks will use a "guest Wi-Fi" SSID, and that cable subscribers will also be able to look for the TWC WiFi SSID.

"Increased access to public Wi-Fi is one of the most popular requests we hear from New Yorkers, so today's announcement will be welcome news to residents and visitors alike," said Rachel Haot, New York City's chief digital officer.

Time Warner Cable announced last month that it would deploy up to 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in New York City by the end of 2013, using gear from Cisco and Ruckus Wireless. Cablevision and Time Warner Cable did not say which vendors are supplying Wi-Fi access points for the rollout in the parks.

For more:
- see this joint release
- see this FierceCable article

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