Sections

Online shopping: Red Hook’s public wifi expanding to commerical strips

Logging in: Jeff Caputo and his company CHS Group are among the first to sign on to help expand Red Hook’s free wifi network.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Talk about local hotspots!

Red Hook’s free public wifi network is expanding to the nabe’s commercial corridors, and the community group in charge is looking for local businesses to house the necessary gadgets to beam the broadband around. Those who sign up won’t just be helping to spread the signal, says an organizer — they’ll also be doing their part to spread goodwill in the tight-knit community of mom and pop shops.

“Red Hook is very special community in the sense that if you have a business, you’re making a commitment to the neighborho­od,” said Anthony Schloss, who is the director of initiatives at the Red Hook Initiative. “This isn’t Midtown, this isn’t Smith Street — it’s Red Hook.”

The group first wired up most of the neighborhood’s parks and community centers after Hurricane Sandy drowned the local grid and left many without power and internet for weeks, but the group is aiming to eventually blanket the entire neighborhood, and has now set its sights on Red Hook’s retail rows, including Van Brunt, Lorraine, Clinton, and Conover streets.

To extend the information superhighway to these stretches, the initiative needs around 50 local businesses willing to host routers and radios — including 15 also able to mount a solar panel on their roof to ensure the system doesn’t get washed out by another natural disaster.

“In the event of power loss, the network would shrink but certain locations will stay working,” said Schloss.

The group has already recruited 10 businesses, and at least one early adopter says signing up was a no-brainer after her company was stuck offline during the super storm.

“It’s really important because Red Hook suffered tremendously during the hurricane,” said Kristina Iulo, the design director of commercial construction company CHS Group on Commerce and Imlay streets. “Most of the neighborhood was out of power, while you could walk to a Carroll Gardens cafe and have internet.”

The hunt kicked off about six weeks ago and the project is expected to be finished by 2018, according to Schloss.

To get involved, business owners can e-mail dabriah@rhicenter.org or call (718) 858–6782.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 3:50 pm, March 8, 2017
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Warren Wilhelm from Park Slope says:
Wish I could get free wifi in my neighborhood!
Feb. 13, 2017, 3:35 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!