LinkNYC: The largest and fastest free municipal Wi-Fi network in the world.

Mayor de Blasio, Counsel to the Mayor, Maya Wiley, DoITT Commissioner Anne Roest, and representatives from CityBridge today announced the public launch of LinkNYC, which is transforming the City’s old payphones into Wi-Fi kiosks to create the world’s largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network. These kiosks, called ‘Links,’ will provide New Yorkers with an incredibly fast, secure and private Wi-Fi network with a 150-foot radius, free domestic calling, two USB charging ports, a tablet for accessing the internet, and a red 911 button to contact emergency services. Overall, at least at 7,500 Links – and as many as 10,000 – will be installed across the five boroughs.



“CIVIQ Smartscapes is proud to be a part of the team responsible for bringing the LinkNYC network to New York City and the world,” said Brad Gleeson, Chief Commercial Officer, CIVIQ Smartscapes. “Together, we’ve created a new concept in urban infrastructure that delivers the same sort of critical communications services for the 21st century that first public payphones did for the 20th century. As the structural engineers and manufacturer behind the Link kiosk, we’re excited to be building this new New York City icon.”

“LinkNYC is the Wi-Fi network New Yorkers deserve: the largest, fastest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world – and you won’t need to insert a quarter in the slot, because it’s completely free,” said Mayor de Blasio. “LinkNYC brings us a couple steps closer to our goal of leveling the playing field and providing every New Yorker with access to the most important tool of the 21st century”.

Following today’s launch, Links will be installed and activated on a rolling basis, with over 500 kiosks in all five boroughs by the end of July, and over 4,500 by mid-2019. Link deployment will follow the installation of high-speed fiber optic cables along “corridors” throughout the city. Users will be able to stay connected with superfast Wi-Fi, even as they move through the five boroughs. The Administration worked closely with the borough presidents to determine a guaranteed number of Links in each borough – as outlined in the franchise agreement with CityBridge – to ensure this project would reach neighborhoods across the five boroughs. Some of the first areas to see links by July include St George, Staten Island, Jamaica, Queens, South Bronx, and Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.

In November 2014, following a competitive bid process, the de Blasio administration announced the selection of CityBridge – a consortium of companies that includes CIVIQ Smartscapes, as well as Qualcomm and Intersection – to develop and operate the first-of-its-kind LinkNYC network – bringing the world’s fastest municipal Wi-Fi to millions of New Yorkers, small businesses, and visitors. The five-borough network is funded entirely through advertising revenues, will be built at no-cost to taxpayers, create new local jobs. The project is estimated to generate more than $500 million in revenue for the City.

LinkNYC will offer an encrypted network for HotSpot 2.0-enabled devices, making it one of the first encrypted public Wi-Fi networks and adding a critical layer of protection to personal data. The de Blasio Administration and CityBridge have also created a customer-first privacy policy – using only anonymized, aggregate user data to make the system more efficient, develop insights to improve the Link experience and better understand New Yorkers’ broadband needs. Each Link will have at least 24 hours of back-up battery power to enable 911 calling capability in the event of the loss of commercial power.


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Mayor Bill de Blasio demonstrating how to use the link.

“Today New York becomes the second largest tech sector city with the fastest free Wi-Fi in the world,” said Counsel to the Mayor, Maya Wiley. “And today is the day we take a bite out of the broadband bill for New Yorkers, at no cost to the taxpayers. With this hotspot, this city takes an important step towards a fairer distribution of broadband service. We know that low income New Yorkers, particularly African American and Latino residents, rely on their smartphones to get online. And now New Yorkers scan reduce some of that broadband bill, no matter their zipcode, at no cost to taxpayers, as LinkNYC Kiosks begin to roll out over the city and eventually to all five boroughs.  LinkNYC will simply make New York a fairer 21st Century City.”


CIVIQ Smartscapes‘ role in LinkNYC is bringing together the technology and components into a structure that’s tough enough to survive on the streets of New York, whilst still being attractive and appealing. The structures go through rigorous testing to make sure they’re reliable through the harsh conditions of the urban environment and extreme weather.


Watch Nick Cardillicchio (CIVIQ Smartscapes) Show You How to Get Connected

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