You Can Thank Google For the Free WiFi at South Station

The company announced a new partnership with the MBTA to provide Internet access to travelers.

As if sitting around South Station and people watching wasn’t enough fun, thanks to a recent partnership between Google, the Biederman Redevelopment Ventures Corporation, and the MBTA, human spectators can now enjoy the Internet for free, too.

The trio announced this week that they are giving travelers access to free WiFi at Greater Boston’s largest train hub, allowing the hundreds of thousands of people that pass through South Station to get to buses, commuter trains and access the MBTA, to log online at no cost as they wait to board. “Anything that improves our customers’ transit experience is a good thing,” said MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott. “By coupling this new initiative with the WiFi service provided on Commuter Rail trains, the MBTA is keeping its customers connected from the moment they enter South Station to the time they exit trains.”

According to a press release from Google, the search engine giant has invested in the network and BRV Corp., who manages the public space programming inside South Station, is responsible for the WiFi deployment.

“Google is excited and proud to provide the infrastructure for free WiFi for the first time inside South Station and to support the Greater Boston community,” said Steve Vinter, engineering director for Google. “We understand that people want to stay connected from anywhere, at any time, from any device. As a major hub for Boston area residents, the new WiFi network at South Station will allow hundreds of thousands of commuters to be even more productive.”

This isn’t the first move the MBTA has taken to bring new technology to one of the oldest train depots in the nation. Earlier this year, advertisers placed two, massive television screens inside South Station, which show a series of ads, replacing banners that were previously in their place.

The MBTA also teamed up with Google Indoor Maps in May of 2012 to bring customers a way to navigate through the T’s stations and train tunnels. The launch made Boston’s transportation system the first in the nation to have access to such maps. Customers can use the maps to guide themselves through Park Street, South Station, and Downtown Crossing.

  • http://twitter.com/wth321 wth321

    Hope it works better than in Mountain View, CA. For the last few months Google’s free wifi is pretty lousy and not worth the hassle over paying forms of wifi. Average node speed of 100Kbps to 300Kbps. It’s also unreliable, so even if you can live with the sub-standard broadband speed, you probably can’t function with it being out of commission. You can “Google” the poor quality and the complaints. As a home owner tax payer in Mountain View, I’m now sorry that the City gave them permission to use the Light Poles for the nodes without a performance guarantee and a guarantees on the problem resolution times.