NYC to replace payphones with municipal WiFi network - Metro US

NYC to replace payphones with municipal WiFi network

A snapshot of NYC's outdated payphones.
Getty Images

The de Blasio administration is ready to be out with the old and in with the new.

On Monday, the mayor, along with Chief Technology Officer Minerva Tantoco and Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Anne Roest, announced CityBridge as the winner of its contest to upgrade NYC’s technological landscape, with a plan to “bring the world’s fastest municipal Wi-Fi to millions of New Yorkers” via a program called LinkNYC.

If the plan is approved by the Franchise and Concession Review Committee, WiFi will be offered throughout the City’s five boroughs and could pump upwards of $500 million in revenue into the city.

The progressive network centers around the idea of replacing New York’s vast network of public pay phones with ad-driven connection points, or “links,” where users can connect to the web, make phone calls, find their way around the city and charge their devices.

“This administration has been committed to expanding affordable access to broadband for all New Yorkers from the outset,” de Blasio said at a press conference. “We’re taking a critical step toward a more equal, open and connected city – for every New Yorker, in every borough.”

“LinkNYC is an initiative that could only be made in New York,” added Tantoco. “It harnesses the latest technologies and it is a true partnership of the world’s leaders in technology, telecommunications, advertising and design.”

If approved, construction of the LinkNYC network will begin in early 2015.

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