On Wednesday, the city announced the completion and full operation of the WiFi Broadband Hot Spot at Stevens Park on Fourth and Hudson streets. Visitors to the park will be able to use wireless laptop computers, notebooks, and personal digital assistants to access the Internet for free.
Mayor David Roberts said that this is the first free hot spot in a public park in Hudson County.
"The Internet has become a major part of our daily lives, whether for work or pleasure," Roberts said. "We as a community should have the ability to exploit all the advantages of this for free in a comfortable environment." According to Roberts, the hot spot should cover most of Stevens Park. All inappropriate material, such as pornography, will be blocked.
Roberts also said that the city is investigating creating hot spots in other city parks.
Patrick Ricciardi, information specialist for the city, said that the project is a joint venture between the city, the popular Symposia used bookstore on Washington Street, and Stevens Institute of Technology. He said that the city has paid for the hardware, which cost about a $1,000. Symposia, which hosts many community events, will pay about $75 per month for Internet service. Stevens students provided the labor to install the equipment. Ricciardi added that this is an example of where the public and private sector can work together for a public benefit.
"This is a proud moment for Hoboken," said Ricciardi. "The benefits of free Internet access are being enjoyed by every facet of our town, from residents to students, and visitors to businesses and municipal agencies."
Also a teaching tool
Installing the equipment for Stevens were students from the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics. As an added bonus, they showed underrepresented students from local high schools and community colleges how to set up the hotspot.
In this case, Stevens graduate physics students served as mentors to students from St. Benedict's Preparatory (SBP) School in Newark, who watched and learned. The wireless Hot Spot is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Instructions and more information can be found on the City of Hoboken's web site at www.hobokennj.org and also at www.symposia.us.