The future of communication technology is arriving in the Bronx!
On Tuesday, August 30, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.; NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, CityBridge partners, local elected officials and community leaders celebrated LinkNYC’s installation of free Wi-Fi kiosks in the borough during a ceremony at East Burnside Avenue.
LinkNYC, a first-of-its-kind communication network, is replacing the city’s obsolete payphones with Wi-Fi kiosks to establish the largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network in the world.
Each Link provides residents with free fast and secure 24/7 Internet access; free domestic calling; two USB charging ports; an Android tablet with touch screen display, directional speaker and microphone; integrated lighting; tactile keypad and braille lettering; headphone jack and a red 911 button for emergency services.
More than 700 Links will be installed in the Bronx as part of the roll out over the next eight years.
Following LinkNYC’s launch this past January, more than 400,000 people have signed up to use the free Wi-Fi; made 20,000 free phone calls and conducted 60,000 tablet sessions every week.
More than 375 Links have already been installed in the city including ones in the south Bronx and along the Grand Concourse.
The Bronx has 10,000 registered users and tablet features on the borough’s first Links have been used nearly 50,000 times with more than 20,000 free phone calls made.
LinkNYC kiosks feature a sleek, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant design by Antenna and two 55-inch HD displays to view public service announcements and advertisements.
Each durable aluminium Link is ‘NYC tough’, able to withstand extreme seasonal temperatures, earthquakes, vandalism and theft.
LinkNYC offers users an encrypted public Wi-Fi network adding a critical layer of protection to personal data.
Each gigabit Link is powered by an all-new, purpose-built fiber optic network delivering speeds up to 100 times faster than average public Wi-Fi.
CityBridge, an Intersection, Qualcomm and CIVIQ Smartscapes joint venture, is investing more than $200 million to construct hundreds of miles of new fiber optic cable delivering gigabit connectivity for the 7,500 Links throughout the city.
The network is funded through advertising and will generate over $500 million for the city.
“LinkNYC is going to revolutionize communication in our city with free public Wi-Fi and user-friendly information kiosks available for anyone,” said Councilman James Vacca, NYC Committee on Technology chairman.
“They are a great safety measure for people to use in an emergency if their phone isn’t working,” expressed Adaline Walker-Santiago, Community Board 7 chairwoman.
She said residents can call CB 7 at (718) 933-5650 to suggest locations for kiosks to replace payphones.
“After learning about the inappropriate and over-extended usage of LinkNYC kiosks throughout the city, in particular in Manhattan, it is time to make adjustments that will allow all of our city residents to use this service safely and comfortably,” said Diaz.
He suggested the city prevent over-extended usage by requiring registration and establishing a time limit for how long subscribers can use a kiosk.
For Links locations and more information, visit www.link.nyc.