Free WiFi on Hoboken Streets: Coming Soon!

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This. Is. BIG. Last week, news broke that in accordance with Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s “Smart City” initiative, town admins are in talks with Verizon and Intersection {the folks behind LinkNYC} to introduce free WiFi via kiosks on some of our city’s most bustling corners {yes, you read that right, there is going to be free WiFi in select locations in Hoboken}. While Zimmer’s administration is still negotiating with both companies, the City Council is already authorizing to finalize these negotiations on July 5th.

The WiFi kiosks are only one component of the “Smart City” intiative, which includes concrete plans to provide “digital public services to city residents,” reports NJ.com. Essentially, this initiative is a research-based collaboration between the city and faculty members at Steven’s Institute. We here in Hoboken are already benefiting from some of the initiative’s concepts, including “Smart Parking” via the Parkmobile app {if you utilize street parking in town, you know how much less of a headache it is now that we can feed the meters remotely from our phones}. As stated by Steven’s, other components of the initiative include “Smart Bus Shelters” featuring real-time scheduling information, “Smart Trash Bins” that alert sanitation officials when they are near capacity to avoid littered streets, and even a “Smart City Lab” on the Hoboken campus that will “leverage crowdsourcing information” to benefit a variety of public domains and services, including emergency response, traffic info, and city-wide sustainability. Very “smart” ideas, indeed!

So, back to the free WiFi. Though we don’t yet have an ETA yet on when we can expect to see kiosks popping up on our street corners, we do know that Verizon and Intersection have already proposed specific locations that have the highest volume of pedestrian traffic, including up and down Washington Street {obviously}, along the southern waterfront, and in other specific places in the north and sound ends of the city. Western and central Hobokenites will be bummed to find out that the initial maps don’t include kiosks in their immediate areas, but there are talks of a possible location at the 2nd Street Light Rail station {which makes sense, considering the surge in commuter traffic there}. A Zimmer spokesman recently referred to the kiosks as “the next generation of the phone booth.” What are we most excited about? Preserving our precious data during our pre-and-post-brunch frolicking up and down Washington and being able to steam Spotify on our runs, of course! Stay tuned for more updates on exactly when you can expect to see a kiosk pop up near you.

How do you feel about FREE Wifi coming to the Mile Square? Comment below!

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Elizabeth is a middle and high school English teacher for special education and gifted students in downtown Manhattan. Prior to teaching, Elizabeth received her B.A. in English and Secondary Education from William Paterson University along with her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The New School. She recently returned to Hoboken after a short-lived — but refreshing — hiatus in Jersey City. When she's not teaching, tutoring, or nannying through the summer, you can find her breaking a sweat at a variety of fitness studios in Hoboken and JC courtesy of an unrelenting addition to ClassPass or, naturally, overindulging at her favorite local bars and restaurants, with Onieal's and Southouse topping the list. She, like many other basic b's in the area, can never turn down a good eyebrow threading or a perfectly chilled glass of rosé.


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