The New York Library system is rolling out a new program that will allow thousands of low income families to be able to borrow wireless hotspots from their local library. This stems from a one million dollar donation from Google and a $500,000 grant from the Knight News Challenge.
The wireless hotspot program was successfully piloted by The New York Public Library over the summer, when families at four branches in the Bronx and Staten Island were able to borrow devices for months at a time. It was deemed a success and is now in the process of a broader roll out at Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
The ultimate goal by the library system is to get 10,000 families online. This is certainly a noble effort but it might fall short. Official estimates say that over 30% of New York residents are without broadband access. With a population over eight million strong, that still leaves almost three million people without internet.