There comes a time in every New Yorker’s life when having wireless Internet at work and home just isn’t enough to satisfy those mighty, Web-surfing desires.
Like really, gods of broadband, am I supposed to wait to check my (probably empty) Gmail inbox until I’m done with my 30-minute underground commute? I think not. And neither did Transit Wireless, the company that’s planning to bring wireless Internet to all 277 underground subway stations in New York.
In order to provide Internet connection to the New York City Transit Authority’s annual 1.6 billion riders, Transit Wireless is acting as a “neutral host,” collecting and sharing the services of a variety of wireless carriers (like AT&T and T-Mobile).
The project first launched in September 2011, when six subway stations in Chelsea were outfitted with wireless Internet. A year and a half later, in April 2013, Transit Wireless announced that the network had been expanded to 30 additional stations, including Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Lincoln Center. The project is expected to incorporate the rest of New York’s underground stations over the next few years.
“For the past three years, the MTA has been on a clearly defined mission to bring our mass transit system into the 21st century with upgrades to the station environment through several ambitious new-technology communications projects like this one, aimed at improving the travel experiences of our customers while offering another level of security,” MTA Interim Executive Director Thomas F. Prendergast said in a press release last April, when the expansion was announced.
Most recently, Transit Wireless announced last week that it had finalized its agreement with Verizon to bring Verizon’s 3G and 4G LTE wireless voice and data service to its subterranean Internet paradise (which is great news, because who actually uses AT&T anyway? Sorry, AT&T users).
“We are extremely pleased to gain Verizon’s participation in our wireless network in the New York City subway system, facilitating high-quality voice and data services in the underground,” William A. Bayne Jr., CEO of Transit Wireless, said in a statement, “We have now secured partnerships with all four major wireless carriers to bring the vast majority of New Yorkers … the ability to be connected in the stations we’ve constructed—a real milestone.”
Anxious to check your work emails before you get to work? Or place your GrubHub order when you get on the subway, so that it’ll be waiting at your door by the time you’re home? Or even better, eager to live-tweet your next riveting subway ride? Check out the NYC Subway Wireless website to find out which stations have been touched by Transit Wireless’ magic.