The End of Free Wi-Fi in Central Park - NBC New York

The End of Free Wi-Fi in Central Park

Contractor cites 'current economic conditions'



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    Central Park has one less amenity; the free wireless Internet has been shut down.

    The plug has been pulled on the free wireless internet in Central Park, Battery Park, Prospect Park and several other locations throughout the city.

    "We are now in the process of closing down Wi-Fi Salon, as the expense of maintaining a free public network dependent on sponsorship proved no longer tenable given the current economic conditions," reads the statement on the website of the private company that was paid by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to operate the service.

    Crain's reports the company, WiFi-Salon, started shutting down the network in October.

    Although New York City and even international media fell for several rounds of "free wi-fi is coming to Central Park" stories, the service had a very slow, problematic rollout and was still in the test phase as late at November 2006 although the original plan called for an October 2005 debut.

    Wi-Fi Salon's contract covered 10 city parks, including Battery Park and Prospect Park .

    Although those networks have been turned off, free wireless remains in other parks and public space offered by other companies, including Bryant Park and Madison Square Park.