WASHINGTON, June 17, 2010 – NYFI, a wireless and telecommunications company located near Manhattan, recently announced its intention to begin supply free Wi-Fi coverage to all commuters on New York’s MTA Metro North Railroad. This decision comes after AT&T Mobility announced a similar plan to expand free Wi-Fi in Times Square.
Rival companies have proposed similar plans following a Request for Proposal (RFP) by the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority. Cablevision Systems, for instance, has offered to expand coverage to the Metro North Railroad system. Currently, Cablevision covers more than 96 percent of Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad station platforms in the New York Area, but this move would expand their coverage to the rails themselves.
However, unlike Cablevision’s proposal, which would require non-Cablevision subscribers to pay extra fees for the usage of the network, NYFI’s plan would not require users to pay any fees, but will rely on advertising to recoup the costs.
Cablevision’s main competitor, Verizon, has not proposed alternate plans of their own yet. However, Cablevision’s main partner, Time Warner, expressed enthusiasm for their plan. “We are very pleased to help mark the launch of Time Warner Cable Wi-Fi by linking our networks and expanding our customers’ access to fast and free wireless Internet, especially as demand for mobile data continues to increase,” said Kevin Curran, Cablevision’s Senior Vice President of Wireless Development. Whether NYFI’s proposal to offer free coverage will impact the success of the Cablevision plan remains to be seen.