2013-06-28 / Community

Charge It To The Sun - City Mobile Stations Coming

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, Rockaway Beach is slated to be one of 25 solar mobile charging stations that will debut in outdoor venues all over New York City this summer

When it came to cellphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices, in the direct aftermath of Sandy, Rockaway, Broad Channel and other affected East Coast residents learned firsthand that even if you could get a wireless connection, none of it was any good without power.

As a direct outgrowth of the storm’s widespread and long-lasting electrical outages, AT&T and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have unveiled a program called AT&T Street Charge. This pilot initiative provides free solar mobile charging stations in locations across all five boroughs where the public can charge their phones, tablets and other mobile devices at no cost.

After Sandy AT&T powered city distribution centers with commercial generators and pop-up cellular service. Residents who lost power for days or longer flocked to these centers to charge their devices and hopefully communicate with the outside world.

In the Rockaways, enterprising volunteer groups constructed make-shift solar collection and charging stations by the beach to keep residents connected and emergency communications going.

By the end of summer 2013, AT&T will deploy approximately 25 Street Charge solar mobile charging units across the five boroughs. Along with the two solar mobile charging units at Fort Greene Park, charging units are now available at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier I, Governor’s Island, Pier 1 at Riverside Park and Union Square Park.

Said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State President of AT&T, “Two years ago, we debuted free Wi-Fi in 26 locations across New York City Parks and last year became one of the first major carriers to offer underground cellular service on 36 subway platforms. Solar mobile charging is a natural next step.”

Commenting on the program’s availability at the beach in Rockaway and other NYC Parks venues, Parks Commissioner Veronica White, said “New Yorkers enjoy some of the best parks in the country, and now, thanks to this collaboration with AT&T, Pensa and Goal Zero, they’ll be able to power up their phones for free using solar power.”

Other locations in Queens will include Clearview Golf Course and Socrates Sculpture Park.

Manhattan locations will cover Riverside Park, Pier I, Union Square Park, North Plaza Rumsey Playfield, Central Park Summerstage, Hudson River Park Pier 59 and Randall's Island.

Brooklyn locations will be Brooklyn Bridge Park along Pier I Promenade, Fort Greene Park, Coney Island, Metrotech Plaza, the Dumbo Arts Festival and the Brooklyn Book Festival

Charging stations will be available in the Bronx at Orchard Beach and in Staten Island at La Tourette Golf Course and the Staten Island Zoo.

Nearly a half dozen of the above stations are already operational.

Additional information on Street Charge, including locations, can be found at www.att.com/attstreetcharge and on Twitter @attnyc #attstreet charge.

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