2015-05-13 / Front Page

Dowtown Jamaica To Get Wifi Kiosk

By Richard Gentilviso

Jamaica will soon be among the first neighborhoods in the city to have a WiFi kiosk.
The Jamaica downtown corridor is included in the Phase I LinkNYC rollout that will ultimately install up to 10,000 kiosks, 7,500 during the next six years, with WiFi service in all five boroughs free of charge.
“This is a big deal for us,” said Borough President Melinda Katz at a presentation of LinkNYC at the April meeting of the Borough Cabinet.
“[LinkNYC] will change the way we all live [and] re-imagine the streets of New York City,” said Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer Scott Goldsmith for the media company Titan, part of CityBridge, a consortium of technology, advertising, connectivity, and user experience experts selected by New York City to develop LinkNYC.
“[LinkNYC] is an ambitious idea [that] takes an old use [pay phones] and reuses existing infrastructure,” said Assistant Commissioner of Franchise Administration Stanley Shor, for the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) explaining the plan to replace the city’s old network of public pay phones with state of the art LinkNYC kiosks.
“[LinkNYC] will be the largest communications network ever deployed,” Goldsmith said. “It is designed by New Yorkers for New Yorkers.”
The kiosks are nine and a half feet tall and 11 inches wide with an interface touch screen tablet free of advertising. No personal information is needed to access it. Users pick a username and a password. LinkNYC offers encrypted network connections, the first municipal WiFi service in the US to do so.
LinkNYC will cost $300 million to put in place but at no cost to the city. Advertising revenues fund LinkNYC thru kiosk digital displays (with public service announcements as well) generating as much as $500 million in revenue back to the city over the first 12 years.  
The LinkNYC gigabit WiFi is more than 100 times faster than the average public WiFi and is free 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Free phone calls are also available anywhere in the US and there’s easy access to 911 and 311 at LinkNYC kiosks. LinkNYC is also a free charging station for mobile devices.
CityBridge expects to deploy 200 LinkNYC units by the end of this year and 500 by August 2016.
“For the most part we’ll be replacing existing pay phones,” said Shor.
 “Using existing locations is important because there are existing conduits,” said Goldsmith. “We also need to put [kiosks] where we think people will buy advertising.”
“We want to make sure that the locations are around the borough,” said Katz.
Goldsmith said about 4,300 existing pay phone locations are under consideration citywide.

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