New York Public Library distributing free Wi-Fi hotspots

In the nation’s largest city, three out of eight million New Yorkers lack home broadband access. So, the city’s public library system will be helping to bridge the digital divide by allocating 10,000 Wi-Fi hotspots to low-income families who are registered in library educational programs.

Anthony Marx
, president of the New York Public Library, said the program hopes to ease a serious educational problem. “It is simply unfathomable,” he said, “that in the digital world in which we live, one-third of New Yorkers do not have access to broadband Internet at home, putting them at a serious disadvantage at school, in applying for jobs, and so much more.”

A national nonprofit Internet services provider, Mobile Beacon, is working with a wireless carrier to distribute the hot spots through library branches across the city. Mobile Beacon has similar projects in 74 communities in 20 states.

NYC libraries pioneer free hot spot lending to 10,000 (Phys.Org, Jan. 11, 2015)