New York City installing largest free public Wi-Fi network

LinkNYC concept image 4

LinkNYC will see 10,000 Wi-Fi and service hubs installed across New York City beginning in 2015.

Come the end of 2015 some New York City residents will have free public access to the super-fast Wi-Fi offered from 'LinkNYC' hubs.

A new plan to replace New York City's old pay phone system will see the aging technology substituted by LinkNYC.

LinkNYC is a venture that looks to install 10,000 hubs called 'Links' across NYC. These Links will contain free Wi-Fi access with speeds up to a gigabit, that also offer other services such as free phone calls inside the US, and access to 311 and 911 numbers. You'll be able to charge your phone at these hubs too, as well as use a touchscreen tablet that offers up directions across the city to its many services.

The Links aren't being paid for out of tax payers' money either, they're utilising digital displays to place adverts on, which are expected to generate over $500 million in revenue for New York City in the first 12 years.

The network connection of the LinkNYC hubs will be encrypted to offer extra security. However, the press release does say: "We encourage you to continue to use end-to-end encryption, such as HTTPS, for any sensitive matters or data. The network will also prevent peer-to-peer security threats by eliminating the ability to communicate device to device."

A press release from CityBridge and LinkNYC also states, "LinkNYC is a first-of-its-kind communications network that will bring the fastest available municipal Wi-Fi to millions of New Yorkers and visitors."

CityBridge is a "New York City-based consortium of leading experts in technology, advertising, connectivity and user experience", made up of Titan; Control Group; Qualcomm, Inc.; and Comark. They are working in conjunction with the New York City Mayor’s Officeof Technology and Innovation, the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT).

Construction of LinkNYC begins in 2015, with the first structures being operational by the end of 2015.

Thanks, Business Insider.

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