Finally! If you've been crying out for more pedestrians standing still in the middle of Manhattan sidewalks, your prayers have been answered. Yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio publicly launched LinkNYC, an ad-sustained program that will replace over 7,500 pay phones throughout the city with sleek Wi-Fi terminals.
Not to be confused with the delightful masturbation booth that popped up last month on 28th St and Fifth Ave, LinkNYC provides easy-access Wi-Fi, USB charging stations, a built-in tablet for internet use and apps for directions, 911 and city services. Perhaps most charming of all, the booths offer free phone calls either on speaker or with your headphones, so you can finally say goodbye to those Metropolis-era headsets and the bacterial communities that called them home.
According to the LinkNYC site, the connection speed should far exceed the Wi-Fi that you've been stealing from your downstairs neighbor with a gigabit speed that creators claim is 100 times faster than most mobile LTE networks. To start using the service, you'll have to register your email and follow a few steps, but once you're in the LinkNYC system, you can hop onto any nearby portal instantly.
If all goes according to plan, the city hopes to install over 500 kiosks in all five boroughs by July. Via printed and web ads on the LinkNYC stations, the city plans to make $500 in ad sales over the next decade. Does this seem to good to be true?
There are 15 active LinkNYC terminals on Third Ave between 13th and 45th street, though that number will double in the next few days when Wi-Fi becomes available on terminals installed through 54th St. You can look for stations on the site's map.—Written by David Goldberg