More than 2000 residents, over 5,000 students and hundreds of tech workers are expected to benefit from a free Wi-Fi network which Google Inc. intends to deploy in New York City.

The network will cover part of the Chelsea neighbourhood where Google has its New York headquarters, according to Ben Fried, chief information officer for Google.

It is believed to be part of a plan to cover ‘Silicon Alley’, the city’s equivalent to California’s Silicon Valley.

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This is not the first time that the Internet search giant has dabbled in network provisioning or has provided free Wi-Fi coverage to neighbourhoods.

Google hosts Wi-Fi networks around Mountain View California and has a fibre broadband project in Kansas City.

The company may expand fibre service to other regions if its experiments work, according to Eric Schmidt, executive chairman for Google.

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