No WiFi For You: City And AT&T Snub Southern Brooklyn

Did you know that Brooklyn actually shrinks by 75% between election cycles? (by dumbonyc via Flickr)

It’s a beautiful day and you’ve decided to spend it in the park. Maybe you plan on, oh I don’t know, a peaceful afternoon getting some sun in Owl’s Head or Marine Park. Or maybe you’re taking a small child to run through the sprinklers in the nearest playground. One thing is certain- The city isn’t making it any easier to check your e-mail, get some work done or simply surf the web while you’re there.

Why? Because you don’t live closer to Manhattan and apparently, the view from the top floor of City Hall doesn’t include your neighborhood.

No, I’m not kidding. That’s what actually happened.

According to an article in the Brooklyn Paper, the city, in conjunction with AT&T, is providing free WiFi to parks all over the five boroughs, including twenty in all, but not one south of 15th Street.

So while the residents of ‘BoCoCa’ sit in Brooklyn Bridge Park, a state park with no smoking ban, daintily sipping lattes, smoking Parliaments and making snarky comments about vinyl siding on Brownstoner, you’re on the new smokeless Coney Island ‘concretewalk’ waiting ten minutes for a single image to download.

“We’re digitally behind — there’s already little bandwidth here and the phone service is terrible,” Renee Giordano, executive director of the Sunset Park BID told the Brooklyn Paper. “We need to bring free Wi-Fi to the commercial strip and Sunset Park, and bring the community up to par with other neighborhoods.”

A Parks Department spokesperson quoted in the story says that there are no plans to expand the free WiFi coverage south.

The Brooklyn Paper seems to make the issue a question of wealth- the affluent Brownstone Belt versus the middle class Belt Parkway. But you know as well as I do that there’s no shortage of wealth in neighborhoods like Dyker Heights, Gravesend, Mill Basin and Manhattan Beach, where some of the priciest homes in Brooklyn are located.

I think it’s more about the Manhattan-centric attitude of city government, but hey, I’m just a lowly proletarian living south of Prospect Park, so what would I know?

The Brooklyn Paper: Digital Divide! Bloomberg’s park WiFi plans cut off southern Brooklyn