New York is embarking on a rather ambitions but interesting task. Today, in a press conference at City Hall, it was announced the city would be undertaking what will be called LinkNYC. To cut to the chase this is the plan to bring about city-wide free WiFi. What’s as interesting is that the City plans to have this in place and running sometime in 2015. So what are they planning to do? Well, this is where it gets real interesting.
Link NYC involved taking all the currently positioned NY phone boxes and changing these into WiFi spots. The old units will be completely removed and replaced by much more modern looking kiosks. These kiosks will then work in harmony to offer residents and visitors city-wide internet coverage. Each booth will have a working radius of 150 feet. If within this radius, users can expect download speeds of 1GB per second (Gbps). In addition to the free internet the same kiosks will also offer free domestic calls to all fifty states. If you are an NY resident then you are probably already thinking ‘but who is going to pay for it all’. Well, according to the City it wont be you. There will apparently be no cost to the taxpayer and instead the project will be solely funded through advertising revenue. Further adding that the kiosks will generate over 500 million for the city in their first twelve years of operation.
As you can see from the image above, the kiosks do look rather futuristic and will also include a tablet interface built-in. This will double as a means for locals and visitors to obtain city information, directions and the like. Not to mention quick access to the emergency services if needed. The project was the brainchild of a consortium of companies including Qualcomm, Transit Wireless and Antenna Design among others. If successful this will (according to the City) will be the most wide-ranging network in the world. If you want to know more then you should head over to the purpose built website which looks to explain what the future holds for NYC in terms of public WiFi. So what do you think?