Brooklyn Libraries Are Now Loaning Out Thousands Of Wi-Fi Hot Spots

December 3, 2014 | Rhett Jones

Residents in Brooklyn are now able to check out Wi-Fi hotspots for up to one year, at no cost if they meet certain criteria. For now, card-carrying visitors to public libraries in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, and Bushwick will have the opportunity to take home free broadband access as part of a $2 million program funded by Google and other private entities.

The Brooklyn launch follows test programs in Staten Island and the Bronx, with the borough of Kings getting 3,000 of the hot spots. Once the program is fully launched, there will be 10,000 devices available around the city.

The effort is a push to make sure those who can’t afford internet access have the ability to not be left behind in our digitally-focused society. Curious applicants can attend orientation sessions here. According to DNAinfo, the qualification requirements are pretty simple:

Individuals must be 17 or older, have a valid Brooklyn Public Library card with less than $15 in fines, present identification, and have no Internet access at home.

With the recent revelations that NYC’s Wi-Fi pay phone network program will often exclude poorer residents, the library initiative is welcome, but just the beginning for what may be needed.

(Photo: Wikipedia)