Earlier this week, New York began installing its first free public Wi-Fi hub across the city’s five boroughs, which was first announced in November 2014; the hubs are set to bring broadband access to millions of low-income residents, Statescoops reported.
The city will install 10,000 high-speed Wi-Fi hubs, in place of pre-existing phone booths over the next 8 years. Currently there are 8,400 pay phones.
Also, 4,500 hubs are expected to be coming in the next four years, 499 of which will be installed over the next 6 months.
LinkNYC kiosks estimated one or two weeks of testing before New Yorkers will be able to use the hubs to get online.
However, once completed, LinkNYC kiosks will provide citizens and visitors with free access to gigabit-speed Wi-Fi, USB device charging ports, touch screen web browsing, free phone calls to anywhere in the U.S., and 55-inch screens for ads and public service announcements. According to Theverge, the city estimates that ads served by the new hubs will generate more than $500 million in revenue over the next 12 years.
LinkNYC’s “speed is more than 100 times faster than the average public Wi-Fi you get in parks and cafes and the LTE network on your phone,” the LinkNYC website says.
The kiosks will support as many as 250 devices with a range of 150 feet, according to officials; these devices cost more than $200 million to install. CityBridge, a group of companies from the advertising, technology and connectivity industries, will develop and operate the Wi-Fi initiative.
The first active Links are expected to be ready early in 2016. You can catch them by 3rd Avenue near 15th Street in Manhattan in the next few weeks.