updated 01:12 pm EST, Tue January 8, 2013
Limited to area around Google's NYC offices
Google is planning to launch free Wi-Fi in a part of Manhattan, the company revealed today at a press conference held in the borough. In particular the company will soon turn on Wi-Fi in the western portion of Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. Most hotspots will be situated outdoors, though some exceptions are being made for a local senior citizen's center, as well as a public housing complex.
For Google the move is mostly self-serving. Chelsea is the home to the company's second-largest office worldwide, and so much of the new Wi-Fi traffic is likely to stem from employees. Last year, similarly, Google announced plans to bring Wi-Fi to some New York subway stations, but effectively just the ones that its employees are mostly likely to pass through.
By giving its workers better access to Wi-Fi, Google may be hoping to encourage productivity and loyalty. It may also encourage workers to use Android and Chromebook devices more often, which could help increase exposure, as well as iron out any technical issues.