New York neighborhood first to go wireless

Fri Jun 3, 2011 11:47am EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - A waterfront area in the New York borough of Brooklyn has become the first city neighborhood to feature free wireless service on streets and in parks and plazas.

DUMBO, short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, already has a reputation for innovative projects. Several formerly abandoned and neglected structures there have been transformed into eco-friendly offices and apartment buildings.

"We are encouraging people to step out of their offices and homes and engage with one another and the neighborhood in new and different ways," said Alexandria Sica, the executive director of the DUMBO Business Improvement District (BIB).

"Creativity can literally flow into the streets. Businesses will be born in Brooklyn Bridge Park."

DUMBO went wireless through a joint project by BID, NYCwireless, a nonprofit organization which helps install free wireless service, and property broker Two Trees Management Co.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said that he had high hopes for the area.

"One day, mark my words, this area will rival Silicon Valley in terms of high tech ingenuity," he said in a statement. "It's only natural that DUMBO is the first neighborhood to be truly connected 24/7."

The DUMBO neighborhood is well known to tourists and locals who visit the neighborhood after crossing the Manhattan Bridge.

(Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr.)