Lower Manhattan’s Largest Continuous Public WiFi Network to Blanket Water Street Corridor and the East River Waterfront

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New York City Economic Development Corporation Selects LaunchLM’s Parent Organization Alliance for Downtown New York as a Winner of Wireless Corridor Challenge; 1.2 Million Square Feet of additional Free WiFi to be Introduced in Lower Manhattan this December

In a huge stepping-stone for LaunchLM, a new enterprise to build community amongst the growing and robust technology sector in Lower Manhattan, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today selected the Alliance for Downtown New York (ADNY) to implement a dramatic expansion of free WiFi in Lower Manhattan along the Water Street Corridor. Stretching between Whitehall and Fulton Streets, this new Water Street WiFi Corridor is made possible by a grant from the Wireless Corridor Challenge, awarded by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

“With over 103,000 workers and 10,000 residents working and living upstairs, the Water Street commercial corridor is vital to the economic pulse of Lower Manhattan,” said Downtown Alliance acting President William Bernstein. “As we nourish and grow Lower Manhattan’s tech sectors through our newly announced LaunchLM initiative, expanding connectivity and free public WiFi is a tremendous step forward in advancing Lower Manhattan as a global hub of technology and innovation. Thank you to Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Steel and EDC President Kyle Kimball for their leadership in providing free, public WiFi across our city.”

Launching in December 2013, Lower Manhattan’s Water Street WiFi Corridor will create 1.2 million square feet or approximately 27.5 acres of coverage. This network will seamlessly connect, from north to south, all of the public and private open spaces, streets and sidewalks from the Seaport to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. This expansive new network will also extend to neighboring side streets including Stone Street and Front Street, and along the East River waterfront and piers in Lower Manhattan.

Co-presented by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, the Lower Manhattan WiFi program builds on over ten years of free WiFi in Lower Manhattan. Currently, ADNY offers 11 WiFi hotspots across Lower Manhattan. A part of LaunchLM's vision for the future is to build on this expansion and bring even wider free connectivity to the public in Lower Manhattan. This network will offer Lower Manhattanites contiguous WiFi access throughout the entire district with connectivity at speeds that outpace average data speeds. ADNY and LaunchLM will oversee implementation and actively promote public access to the WiFi corridor, amplifying signal strength with more equipment and enhanced technology.

“Our mobile-savvy generation thrives on connectivity,” said Daria Siegel, Director of LaunchLM. “Seamless free public WiFi means that we will be more reachable for work and for play in Lower Manhattan. Ensuring that we stay connected, informed and involved is at the heart of LaunchLM’s efforts to support the district’s growing tech community.”

“Whether you’re working outside on Pier 15 or checking your email as you sit down to lunch on Stone Street, free public WiFi is a huge asset in the digital workplace,” said Dawn Barber, LaunchLM Leadership Council member and Co-founder of the New York Tech Meetup. “As we strive to build a more diversified business district that embraces the needs of the growing tech sector in Lower Manhattan, this grant is a major step forward for the LaunchLM tech community.”

LaunchLM, unveiled earlier this month, is the culmination of over a year of planning by the Downtown Alliance in partnership with a team of technology, venture capital, urban planning and real estate professionals to develop the first tech-focused community initiative in Lower Manhattan. With over 600 technology companies located in Lower Manhattan, the district is already a destination for innovative companies looking to grow in New York City. The expansion of this free WiFi program will further connect and support Lower Manhattan’s growing tech community.

Mayor Bloomberg announced the grant recipients of the Wireless Corridor Challenge today in Downtown Brooklyn. Other recipients of the Wireless Corridor Challenge will implement WiFi in locations across the city, including: in Brooklyn along the Fulton Street corridor, Brownsville, and Downtown Brooklyn; in Manhattan in the Flatiron District, the 125th Street corridor in Harlem and on Roosevelt Island; in Queens in Long Island City; in Staten Island in the St. George commercial district and in the Bronx on Fordham Road.

October 2013 will mark the five year anniversary of ADNY’s work to transform Water Street, a vital commercial corridor on the East side of Lower Manhattan, into a 21st-century business address. Today, Water Street is home to 20 million square feet of prime office space, 103,000 workers, and 10,000 residents within a two-block radius.

About LaunchLM
LaunchLM is an initiative designed to encourage and celebrate collaboration, the diversity of industries, and the pursuit of progress in Lower Manhattan. Developed by the Alliance for Downtown New York in collaboration with a group of technology, venture capital, urban planning and real estate professionals who share a desire to help grow innovation and build community in the district, LaunchLM intends to connect and support the district’s growing tech community. LaunchLM is currently headquartered at the Hive at 55, a shared workspace for the Lower Manhattan community. For more information, visit http://www.LaunchLM.com or follow LaunchLM on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook.

About the Downtown Alliance
The mission of the Alliance for Downtown New York is to provide service, advocacy, research and information to advance Lower Manhattan as a global model of a 21st-century Central Business District for businesses, residents and visitors.

Press Contact:

Valerie Beesley
HORN On Behalf of ADNY
646-202-9767
valerie(dot)beesley(at)horngroup(dot)com

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Valerie Beesley
HORN on behalf of ADNY
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