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Free Hi-Speed Public Wifi Coming to Governors Island in July

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The Trust for Governors Island and the Mayors Office of the Chief Technology Officer announced today the launch of free, high-speed public Wi-Fi on Governors Island. The next generation, 5G-enabled service will be provided by Fiberless Networks, also announced today as the winner of the Governors Island Connectivity Challenge, the first citywide ‘Moonshot Challenge’ through the NYCx program. Public Wi-Fi service will be available on Governors Island beginning July 1.

Fiberless Networks’s winning solution will bring an important amenity to Governors Island’s growing audience of hundreds of thousands of seasonal visitors, vendors, arts and cultural programming partners and tenants. The technology delivered on Governors Island, the first of its kind in any New York City open space, will serve as a test case for advancing broadband, Wi-Fi and 5G cellular service throughout the City.

“Governors Island is an increasingly important place for creativity and innovation in New York City,” said Michael Samuelian, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “As a unique destination with expansive open space, unparalleled flexibility and an engaged audience, there is no better place to test, deploy and accelerate innovative technologies in the city than Governors Island. We’re excited to deliver ultra-fast and affordable Wi-Fi to the diverse set of New Yorkers who visit us each year, and for our current and future tenants who are part of our growing community.”

Today’s announcement marks the culmination of the Governors Island Connectivity Challenge announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio in October 2017. The first of several ‘Moonshot Challenges’ unveiled by the city’s NYCx program, the Connectivity Challenge showcased Governors Island as an ideal testbed for the latest in connectivity solutions. Global entrepreneurs were invited to propose and deliver bold solutions to deliver hi-speed broadband and 5G cellular service on Governors Island, providing a platform for the City to acquire new insights to advance connectivity for all New Yorkers.

“The NYCx program was anchored in the Connectivty Moonshot Challenge, and we’re thrilled to see the launch of pervasive Wi-Fi across a cherished New York City destination,” said Jeremy M. Goldberg, Deputy CTO, NYCx, Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer. “Wi-Fi is an essential part of participating in today’s world, and we hope that the positive outcomes of this challenge will roll-out to other locations in the City and benefit all New Yorkers.”

Council Member Peter Koo, Chair of the Technology Committee, stated, “We’re kicking off the summer season on Governors Island in the best way possible by bringing free Wi-Fi service to its visitors. This effort shows that no matter how spread out our landscapes may be, New York City is dedicated to ensuring our communities are connected to high-speed networks. Thank you to the Mayor’s Office of the CTO, the Trust for Governors Island and Fiberless Networks for making this project a reality.”

I am thrilled that free, high speed connectivity will finally make its way to Governors Island,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “With its lush greenspace and breathtaking views of New York harbor, Governors Island has long been recognized as an organic oasis, a center for culture and recreation and - thanks to the Moonshot challenge - a hub of tech innovation. I look forward to future partnerships and opportunities that will bring even more resources to the thousands of visitors, workers and vendors that utilize the Island every year.”

Over the past six months, finalists for the Governors Island Connectivty Challenge worked with the Trust and the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer to build and test solutions on Governors Island. Fiberless Networks, based in Quincy, MA will deliver the service on Governors Island for the public season and for the next several years.

“We are both honored and excited to have been chosen by the Trust of Governors Island to participate in providing next generation ultrafast and affordable wireless communications to the island,” said Louis Slaughter, CEO of Fiberless Networks Corporation. “Through history the Island has been an important part of New York City’s heritage having witnessed the first public flight in the United States by Wilbur Wright around the island.Wireless communications of the flight was personally telegraphed from the Island by Guglielmo Marconi, Inventor of the wireless telegraph.We are pleased to be yet another milestone for Governors Island albeit not as momentous as the flight of Wilbur Wright but significantly faster than the communications provided by Signore Marconi”.

NYCX seeks to further Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal of ensuring every New York City resident and business will have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband service by 2025.

A popular seasonal destination for recreation, arts, culture and education, Governors Island is undergoing a transformation into a year-round community with new commercial, cultural and educational activity. The Island is open to the public seven days a week from May 1 through October 31 from 10 AM to 6 PM weekdays, from 10AM-10 PM on Fridays between May 25-September 14 and from 10 AM to 7 PM weekends.

About NYCx

Launched in October, 2017, NYCx is the world’s first municipal program to transform urban spaces into hubs for tech collaboration, research, testing and development. New York City’s diverse population, economy and landscape offer a unique opportunity for technology companies to develop tools that improve the world. NYCx is a program in the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer. Learn more at www.nyc.gov/nycx