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AT&T brings free WiFi to eleven NYC parks, untold pigeon ladies

There was once a time, believe it or not, when New Yorkers would go to public parks to engage in long strolls, unfettered cigarette smoking, and neurotic conversations with Diane Keaton. Recent years, however, have seen a sudden change in this behavior due to a variety of factors -- including AT&T. Yesterday, the provider announced an expansion of its ongoing New York City WiFi initiative, bringing free connectivity to eleven new sites across the five boroughs, including Prospect Park, Tompkins Square Park and Marcus Garvey Park, among others. With these new additions, AT&T inches closer to its stated goal of bathing 26 park locations in WiFi, though the Grand Poobah, Central Park, remains in the dark. As with its earlier rollout, visitors won't need an AT&T account to get online. In fact, they won't need any contract at all -- just a WiFi-enabled device, a cozy bench and bountiful downtime. Full PR after the break.

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AT&T Announces Launch of Free Wi-Fi in Several of New York City's Most Iconic Parks

Free Wi-Fi Now Available at Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Prospect Park Picnic House and Manhattan's Marcus Garvey Park

Visitors to two of New York City's most iconic parks-Brooklyn's Prospect Park Picnic House and Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park-can now access free AT&T Wi-Fi service beginning today. Free Wi-Fi is also available at Marcus Garvey Park in Manhattan, where thousands of marathoners will run nearby on Sunday. The launch is part of a five-year digital initiative with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the City of New York to provide free Wi-Fi at 26 locations in 20 New York City parks across the five boroughs. New Yorkers can now stay connected at more than half of the 20 parks.

AT&T Announces Launch of Free Wi-Fi in Several of New York City's Most Iconic Parks

"We want to keep New Yorkers connected wherever they are and both Prospect Park and Pier 1 are among the city's most popular parks all year round," said Tom DeVito, AT&T vice president and general manager for New York and New Jersey. "We're excited to be able to enhance the visitor experience at these locations, as well as in Marcus Garvey Park where thousands will gather this weekend to watch the New York City marathon."

"Sun, rain or snow, Brooklynites love their parks and I'm thrilled that AT&T, Mayor Bloomberg NYC Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffery have now connected two of our most popular destinations," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "This free Wi-Fi initiative is just one more reason why New York City-and Brooklyn especially-is home to the greatest parks in the world."

Prospect Park gets 8 million visitors a year, according to the New York City Parks Department. Brooklyn Bridge Park, located on the Brooklyn waterfront, draws visitors from across the city and world for its unique landscapes and views of Manhattan, the East River and Statue of Liberty. In addition to Prospect Park Picnic House, Pier 1 and Marcus Garvey Park, New Yorkers can now access free AT&T Wi-Fi at many other park locations across all five boroughs including:

Herbert Von King Park and McCarren Park Field House in Brooklyn
Astoria Park in Queens
Tompkins Square Park in Manhattan
Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island
Battery Park (Battery Bosque and Ferry Landing)
Rumsey Playfield
Areas of Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem
Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx

AT&T Wi-Fi at city parks will be free for all users. From most AT&T smartphones and devices, customers will be able to automatically connect and switch seamlessly between AT&T's Wi-Fi and wireless networks. Virtually all new AT&T smartphones come equipped with Wi-Fi technology, and Wi-Fi use doesn't count toward customers' smartphone data plans. Consumers are increasingly relying on AT&T Wi-Fi to connect in more places from more devices. New York City consumers made 24.5 million AT&T Wi-Fi connections in the third quarter of 2011 – more than all the connections made in all of 2008.

In addition to New York City parks, AT&T offers Wi-Fi hotspots and hotzones across the city. New York City Times Square was the site of the very first AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Zone, and AT&T has added hotzones near Rockefeller Center, near St. Patrick's Cathedral, along Park Avenue and near the Ed Sullivan Theater. AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Zones supplement mobile broadband coverage in areas with consistently high traffic.

AT&T operates the nation's largest Wi-Fi network** with more than 29,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots at popular restaurants, hotels, bookstores and retailers, including more than 1,250 hotspot locations in the New York metro area.

For more information on AT&T Wi-Fi locations and instructions on how to connect, visit AT&T Wi-Fi Access.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.