Not quite the headline on the article, but I can't resist using tabloid style: Tech reporter Sam Gustin reveals a few well-known facts in New York City that haven't been put together before. New York is known as a city in which bureaucracy is a kind of superpower that can change the laws of physics, and the parks department is fully charged with these preternatural abilities.
The Department of Parks and Recreation is still working with its vendor, Wi-Fi Salon, to get service running in the parks that the company agreed to unwire two years ago. There was an absolute deadline this summer for Central Park service, and Wi-Fi Salon does have a few points up and running--confirmed by a regular correspondent to Wi-Fi Networking News. These points of access are a far cry from blanket coverage, of course, and then there are the eight other parks yet to go. Wi-Fi Salon agreed to pay some hefty fees to get these contracts, and Parks no longer asks for fees in its new contracts.
Parks has resisted reassigning these contracts, despite pressure from the city council. And they have put roadblocks in the way of other groups providing free service at those groups' expense. Dana Spiegel has kept me up to date on the issue reported here, that at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Parks suddenly demanded a bizarrely high insurance policy from the Friends of D.H. group that was working with Spiegel's NYCwireless. The Friends and NYCwireless are sending waves from nearby for now.
And EarthLink apparently offered to unwire Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, only to face unbreakable red tape. We need some competing superheroes in New York, apparently, to fight the Tunnel Vision and Freeze Rays that emanate from Parks' leaders.