NYC: Free Wi-Fi at Grand Central Station

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wifi.jpgThe Station Master’s Office in Grand Central Terminal, long an oasis with spacious benches, restrooms and an eye-pleasing floral mural, is now a “hot spot” for free wireless Internet access.

MTA Metro-North Railroad customers can now turn on their laptops and surf the net or check e-mail while waiting for a train.

“Metro-North is pleased to offer this amenity to our customers,” said Metro-North President Peter A. Cannito. “In fact, we’re confident that the Station Master’s Office will become even more popular now that WiFi service has been established.”

“The installation of WiFi Internet access in the Station Master’s office will be a great addition for Metro-North riders,” said William Henderson, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. “This new service will put reliable Internet access in a convenient location. We are pleased that Metro-North has recognized the needs of its customers and is acting to meet them.”

Laptop computers equipped with an 802.11 a, b or g capable wireless network card can access the Internet. The “hot spot” can accommodate up to 60 users at once. A simple click on the portal page gets users surfing the net with ease.

The Station Master’s Office, which is the terminal’s waiting area for ticketed customers, is located near Track 36. It is outfitted with oak benches that once graced the old Main Waiting Room, now called Vanderbilt Hall. A floral, mixed media mural by Roberto Juarez runs along three walls just above the benches.

This Wi-Fi connectivity was coordinated by Metro-North’s Information Technology Department.

(YWN Desk)


9 COMMENTS

  1. #2 Lawrenceyid –

    While it would be “nice” to be able to go anywhere in the city and access the Internet for free, I don’t think the government should be directly involved in communications. I especially don’t want them as my ISP. Besides, the initial and ongoing cost involved for setting up a metro-wide WiFi is enormous and should not be a burden to taxpayers, most of whom would not benefit from such a service. Similar proposals in Philadephia and other cities have failed. If you are interested in “anywhere” Internet access, you have several choices in terms of an Internet access card from Verizon or any of the other cell phone networks. AND – many people don’t know this – if you have a Blackberry, it’s relatively simple to use that with a laptop for nationwide Internet access at (usually) no additional cost.

  2. 1) It depends how they do it. If they run all the traffic through a proxy they can return the web page with an add. It can also be done to get people to be there to use their computers (for what ever reason, keep people there to shop etc.)
    2) In my office building some people do not know how to lock their routers (or so it seems). There are always kids there sitting out side on their PSP’s sitting around using the “Free WiFi”. This ha caused to many problems in the area. Besides I would not want on my cheshbon some kid going to bad sites.

  3. The reality is, city-wide internet in NYC is going to happen eventually (and sooner rather than later) so we should be prepared for it- learn safe browsing habits, etc.