NY Subway to Get WiFi, Cell Access

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One of the last refuges from electromagnetic traffic in New York is about to be overrun.

The city's 277 subway stations will get wireless and cellular phone access over the next several years courtesy of Transit Wireless, a group of companies anchored by new partner Broadcast Australia, which built a similar system for Hong Kong. They'll charge phone networks to use their networks, but there's no word on what kind of WiFi service they'll offer. Gothamist notes that you'll probably get reception in most tunnels between stations.

Transit Wireless estimates the project will cost $200 million to complete, not including the $46 million that New York's transit authorities will receive under the deal. The company was originally awarded the contract to wire up the subway stations three years ago, but could never actually manage to fund its work, Bloomberg reports. Broadcast Australia now has a majority stake in the enterprise and is pushing ahead.

The lucky stations slated to get service first at 14th Street at Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Avenues and at 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue, a spokesman for New York City Transit told Bloomberg.


Image: hseoane/flickr
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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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