In 2015 New York will begin work on LinkNYC, a project that replaces the aging and seldom used payphone system with futuristic glowing pillars called Links.
These Links will serve as Wi-Fi hubs that provide 24/7 free internet access at gigabit speeds. The connections will be encrypted and should be secure according to the press release: “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.”
As if that wasn’t good enough, the Links also offer free phone calls to anywhere in the U.S., free mobile-device charging, and a touchscreen interface for accessing directions, city services, etc… They also provide easy access to 911 and 311.
Sounds expensive right? The whole system is ad-supported and will apparently cost tax-payers nothing. So presumably these Links will be bombarding you with ads day and night, but it’s not as if that’s not happening already right? All-in-all it may be a fair trade, assuming the ads are visual only and not overly intrusive. This new platform may prove seriously valuable for local advertisers and marketers.
“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,” according to a press release from CityBridge and LinkNYC.
Up to up to 10,000 Link installtions are planning, though not all may offer free gigabit Wi-Fi.The first Links should be operational by the end of 2015.
Images by LinkNYC