January 15, 2015 — New York City will begin construction of a Wi-Fi network, known as LinkNYC, offering free gigabit service with 500 specially design structures slated by the end of the year. Up to 10,000 links are planned across all five boroughs of the city for LinkNYC, which will leverage the old payphone infrastructure to build the network, according Mayor de Blasio.
LinkNYC will be funded through advertising revenues, built at no-cost to taxpayers and is expected to generate more than $500 million in revenue for the City during the next 12 years. CityBridge will split that revenue with the city, which will get a guaranteed minimum of $20 million annually.
In December of last year, the NYC Franchise and Concession Review Committee authorized a consortium companies, known as CityBridge, to install, operate and maintain public communications structures. The structures will offer free Wi-Fi service, free local and long distance calling via touch screen, a USB charging port, 911 and 311 and other features.
CityBridge is a New York City-based consortium of companies with knowledge of technology, advertising, connectivity and user experience. Its members include: Titan – a media/advertising company, Control Group – a technology design firm, Qualcomm, Comark – designer and manufacturer of interactive hardware solutions, Transit Wireless – a fiber infrastructure firm, Antenna Design – industrial design team.