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New York spreading wireless access across city

One World Trade Center and the lower New York City skyline, including the Brooklyn Bridge, are seen from the air over New York on May 13, 2013
One World Trade Center and the lower New York City skyline, including the Brooklyn Bridge, are seen from the air over New York on May 13, 2013.

Free Internet access will be given to more neighborhoods across New York as the Big Apple aims to build a "wireless corridor" designed to boost business, officials announced Monday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that from December free web access would be available in neighborhoods in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens and Manhattan.

New York has already created free Internet zones in around 20 parks and the Chelsea area of downtown Manhattan, the latter at the initiative of US technology giant Google.

Bloomberg said the "wireless corridor" scheme would be funded by both the private and public sectors, with $900,000 of local government funding against $3.4 million of private money.

New York officials say the aim of the project is to create technology hubs in the city's five boroughs catering to cultural and educational growth as well as low-income residential areas.

"If New York City is going to remain competitive in the global economy, we must find ways to support the entrepreneurs who are driving technological advances and creating jobs," Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg, who ends his term as mayor at the end of December after 12 years, has sought to turn New York into a high-tech capital to rival California's Silicon Valley, south of San Francisco.

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