As NYC rolls into the New Year, a big technologically advanced change is occurring throughout the streets of a city previously populated for decades by metal pay phones. Basically, pay phones will soon be replaced by wifi zones implemented by a company called LinkNYC, a product of CityBridge technology consortium. This company is launching a useful, convenient fiber optic network of kiosks that provide free wifi for any mobile device, tablet or laptop. 

Many believe this technological change on the streets of NYC will be greatly beneficial for New Yorkers because it’s a great way for locals and tourists to easily access information on the way to the subway or as their walking to a broadway show. This easy access of information is a bit revolutionary in nature as it is an advancement that no city has participated in. Collin Odonell, a high management member of CityBridge, stated that “It’s going to be the largest and fastest public Wi-Fi network in the world,” while also highlighting the fact that it creates an easy way for nearly everyone to access information. 

Privacy is a primary reason for many people who are anticipating the release of these links.  LinkNYC assures all its potential users that they will only aggregate technical information including mac addresses. Moreover, users have the option to avoid cookie tracking by going a private network and/or deleting the information gathered at the end of the wifi session.

In addition, this city wide project will not cost taxpayers any money, while retaining a spend project of $200 million. In terms of projected revenue, these link wifi kiosks are projected to bring in around $500 million for the city. The first two kiosks or “Links” are a little over 9 feet tall and will be unveiled sometime this week on 3rd Ave. at 15th and 17th street, but they won’t be fully functional for people to use until mid-January. Although it will take until July for the other boroughs to have access to these link wifi kiosks, this alternate way to engage and communicate is one that is no doubt a step forward from the traditional pay phones.

If you would like to read more about these link wifi kiosks please check it out here.

John Partilla, CEO of Screenvision, is a marketing industry executive with more than thirty years of experience. He’s held executive positions at numerous institutions after graduating from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, as well as earning an MBA from Columbia Business School. Please visit http://JohnPartilla.net, and to learn more. Also, find him on LinkedIn