Dumbo Beats Manhattan to Free WiFi

Digital neighborhood officially a hot spot

Brooklyn's Dumbo neighborhood, home to an estimated 85 digital companies, on Thursday became the first in the five boroughs to offer free outdoor wireless access—boosting its profile as the center of New York City's burgeoning tech scene.

Two Trees Management Company, one of the district’s major private developers, paid about $65,000 for the WiFi equipment, according to reports. Two Trees owns 45 Main St. and 55 Washington St.—landlord to a host of Dumbo advertising and design shops, including IPG-owned Huge and independent Big Spaceship. Etsy, an online retailer of handcrafted goods, also calls 55 Washington home. 

The service was organized in partnership with public development group Dumbo BID and nonprofit NYCwireless. Towerstream, a Rhode Island-based tech company, plans to launch a Manhattan wireless network in late June, The New York Times reports, but will charge mobile providers for access.

@GabrielBeltrone gabriel.beltrone@gmail.com Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.