LinkNYC provides free Wi-Fi to New Yorkers

Article published on 01/18/2016 - Telephony - New technologies

Operational phase has begun for LinkNYC project: its first two free Wi-Fi hotspots have been unveiled last week. 7,500 more should be installed within the next twelve years.

Yes, it's a very long-term project, most certainly because it's the largest urban Wi-Fi project designed to date. The LinkNYC plan brings the perfect solution to an issue faced by the de Blasio Administration, back in 2014: how do we provide free Wi-Fi to New Yorkers / how do we get rid of unused pay phones. There you go: replace the old phone booths with upgraded free Wi-Fi hotspots.

CityBridge, self-described as "a consortium of experts in technology, media, user experience and connectivity that includes Intersection, Qualcomm and CIVIQ Smartscapes", answered to the competitive RFP issued by the City with a proposal called LinkNYC. Their plan, which includes the installation of at least 7,500 gigabit-speed Link kiosks in NYC within the next twelve years, was approved.

After the first two Links unveiled last week in Manhattan, CityBridges plans to install 510 Links across all five boroughs by July 2016, with a total of 4,550 kiosks deployed within the four next years. According to CityBridge, each Link delivers a connectivity that is 100 times faster than the average public Wi-Fi hotspot and can support hundreds of users at the same time, 24/7.

Each Link will feature two huge video screens to play ads (the project's main funding source), an Android tablet, two USB chargers and a red 911 button for emergency calls. The public Wi-Fi network is of course encrypted and none of your private informations will be used or sent in any way. LinkNYC units are build to last and withstand extreme temperatures, weather conditions and hopefully mindless destruction.

Photos: LinkNYC on Instagram

Article written by Cécile Lessard
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