Here’s one way AT&T may snag some goodwill from disgruntled New York City customers: Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that AT&T will provide free Wi-Fi service in 20 city parks across the five boroughs.
The deal, which will last for five years, comes years after the city abandoned its own plans to offer Wi-Fi in parks. The city had originally tapped WiFi Salon to provide wireless internet in 10 city parks in 2004, but that company ceased operations in 2009 after becoming a victim of the financial crisis.
AT&T’s Wi-Fi service is already available in a handful of locations, including Battery Park and Thomas Jefferson Park. Other locations will be set up throughout 2011. At this point, it looks like the company is only aiming to provide Wi-Fi in specific spots in the parks, so don’t expect to get service in the nether regions of Central Park.
We’ll be exploring the most disruptive mobile trends at our fourth annual MobileBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the rise of 4G and how it delivers the promise of true mobile computing. We’re also accepting entries for our mobile startup competition at the show. MobileBeat is co-located with our GamesBeat 2011 conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at email@example.com.