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Schenectady launches limited free Wi-Fi downtown

Schenectady launches limited free Wi-Fi downtown

Part of mayor's 'smart city' initiative
Schenectady launches limited free Wi-Fi downtown
Mayor Gary McCarthy discusses the plan at the unveiling of the city's new trolley service.
Photographer: BRETT SAMUELS

SCHENECTADY -- The city has launched, on a small scale, free public Wi-Fi to internet users in the downtown area.

The city deployed the service on Tuesday, along a portion of Union Street, with the possibility of expansion in the future. The announcement comes on World Wi-Fi Day, which is a global initiative to increase awareness of those who don’t have internet access.

The city installed Wi-Fi access points on a four- or five-block stretch of Union Street, according to a prepared statement. The limited deployment will allow nearby residents and businesses to get online.

The technology will allow the city to monitor devices connecting to the internet, the data from which will be used to determine whether expansion of the service is warranted.

The public Wi-Fi is part of Mayor Gary McCarthy’s broader “smart city” initiative, which has led to the installation of more energy- and cost-efficient street lighting and the use of GPS technology to track snow plows and other city vehicles.

McCarthy noted the addition of free Wi-Fi while speaking at the unveiling of the city’s new trolley service, which launches Thursday.  

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