This morning DUMBO had a gas leak, but as of today the neighborhood better known as Silicon Beach is also leaking internet all over the streets and parks under the bridges. The Times reports that the DUMBO business improvement district partnered with district-owning real estate developers Two Trees to launch the free wireless service Dumbo Wi-Fi in outdoor spaces between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges.
This marks the city’s first free neighborhood-wide wireless service—until now only small sectors of free public wi-fi have existed in places like Herald Square or Bryant Park. Partly that’s because outdoor wireless service is so difficult and expensive to maintain. But this arrangement between local businesses and a real estate developer curtails many of those problems.
City Hall spokesperson Andrew Brent tells the Times: “We’re encouraging area partnerships like the new one in Dumbo, and we are directly engaging private sector partners to expand Wi-Fi service in city parks and public spaces.”
One wonders, though, about the many public spaces just outside the boundaries of the bridge-bordered DUMBO Wi-Fi zone, like the Pearl Street triangle, Fulton Landing or the sidewalk seating at Pedro’s, and whether at some point those places will also be served.