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Google Makes the NY Subway Even More Excruciating

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SIGH-FI
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Like it or not, the “Summer of Free Wi-Fi NYC” officially began yesterday, thanks to Boingo (WIFI) and Google Offers (GOOG).

According to the New York Times, the companies have partnered up to provide free Wi-Fi in six subway stations and 200 other hotspots throughout Manhattan until September 7. The subway locations include:
  • A, C, E station at Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street
  • L station at Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street
  • C, E station at Eighth Avenue and West 23rd Street
  • 1, 2, 3 station at Seventh Avenue and West 14th Street
  • F, M station at Sixth Avenue and West 14th Street
  • L station at Sixth Avenue and West 14th Street
“We’re glad our riders will be able to access free Wi-Fi this summer in six subway stations to stay connected while they’re underground,” said Jerome Page, the Metropolitan Transportation Authoritys director of strategic initiatives says. “Reliable Wi-Fi is an important benefit for straphangers in New York City subway stations.”

"Benefit," in that Gothamites will now be able to take part in strangers' VOIP conversations in the cramped confines of a 95-degree subway platform. At least now, you can use Pandora (P) to drown out their yammering.

The six stations selected already offer phone and internet capabilities for AT&T (T) and T-Mobile customers, but with the Boingo and Google Offers program, anyone -- regardless of their provider -- will be able to use their iPhones (AAPL), Droids, BlackBerrys (RIMM), and Windows Phones (MSFT) to connect to free Wi-Fi.

Although the promotion with Google ends in September, Boingo expects it will be able to continue offering free Wi-Fi through other sponsorships, according to company spokeswoman Katie O’Neill. Boingo also said it will rollout accessible wireless in 36 New York subway locations by the end of the year, and expects Wi-Fi to be available to all 300 stations in the next five years.

(See also: What Did Crowded NY Subway Stations Need? Phone Calls!)
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.

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