The New York City Mayor’s office has announced plans to turn old payphones into free municipal WiFi hot spots. The plan is being called LinkNYC and is expected to start offering free public WiFi to New York City residents by the end of next year. LinkNYC is a partnership between the city and CityBridge, a New York-based consortium comprised of Qualcomm, Titan, Transit Wireless and others.
The system will be called Links and is made up of hubs (pictured above and below) that will provide up to Gigabit speeds for users and offer services like 24/7 internet access, free phone calls within the US and access to 911 and 311 services. Each hub will also have a touchscreen tablet interface that will provide access to city services and give directions. Each hub will also function as a charging hub and will have digital displays for advertising and public service announcements.
“LinkNYC will bring the world’s fastest, free municipal WiFi to millions of New Yorkers, small businesses and visitors in all five boroughs,” according to the press release from LinkNYC and CityBridge. “It helps spans the divide between people of various physical, technical and financial abilities to connect all New Yorkers to the opportunities that Internet access affords.”
According to the press release there will be 10,000 Links installed across all five boroughs with the first becoming operational towards the end of next year. The project itself will not cost taxpayers any money and it is expected to generate over $500 million in revenue over the next 12 years.
What do you think of this project and would you like to see it in your city?
Source: CityBridge | News Archive