Yahoo, in cooperation with the Times Square Alliance, today commences free WiFi in Times Square, which will be in place for a year. We haven’t sampled it yet, and remember having trouble grabbing a signal when CBS tried it in a big block of midtown in 2007, but Bryant Park’s been successfully providing free WiFi for years, and we imagine Yahoo has the technology well in hand.
Yahoo’s gift may be a response to Google’s similar WiFi largesse in 47 airports around the county. It’s a smart way to make a tech brand seem ubiquitous and powerful. Now, who’ll step up and put WiFi in the subways? Some other cities have it, and MTA is looking at giving it to LIRR and Metro-North, but subway riders remain in a dead zone.