by Laura Matiz
There are two infrastructure projects underway on the Upper East Side. One of them is quite obvious on Second Avenue. (See: NYC Underground: New Transit Projects.) There, the new subway line installation requires massive equipment. A high level of street-side disruption is clear. Sidewalks, crosswalks, and businesses along the thoroughfare are greatly affected.
Along Third Avenue is the second infrastructure project. It is so unobtrusive that most people are unaware that it is already active and running. Of course, I am writing about the ambitious LinkNYC Public Wi-Fi program.
The LinkNYC web site explains that in 2014, the mayor's office announced a competitive request-for-proposals to reuse the ubiquitous pay-phone infrastructure to offer New Yorkers free Wi-Fi and phone calls. The city awarded CityBridge, a consortium of technology, media, user experience and connectivity companies, a 12-year franchise. LinkNYC offers super fast Wi-Fi — a hundred times faster than average public Wi-Fi — across New York City connecting about 7,500 kiosks. The free service will be supported with advertising.
LinkNYC has also been rolled out along Eight Avenue and will continue to expand in Manhattan before heading out to the other boroughs. A LinkNYC map provides information on kiosk locations. Connecting is quite simple and anecdotally, speeds have been impressive. See the video below explaining how to connect to LinkNYC. Happy surfing.