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New York City will soon offer a free wi-fi network with gigabit speeds

Businesses will offer gigabit wi-fi to public spaces in New York City.
By
November 18, 2014
NewYorkCity

TechCrunch brings us a rather surprising and positive story for those in New York City.

A group of businesses are coming together to offer gigabit wi-fi to public spaces in New York City. The group is called CityBridge and they will be offering gigabit speeds through a network called LinkNYCnetwork. CityBridge includes companies such as Qualcomm, Titan (advertising company), Control Group (design company), Comark (hardware manufacturer), the Mayor’s Office of Technology and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.

As can be seen by the companies involved, the offering will be a public-private consortium that will be funded by advertising. Some early estimates claim that the public wi-fi will bring in at least $500 million in revenue over the next 12 years.

Although New York City has released press materials claiming that the wi-fi network will allow people to download “a two-hour high-def movie in as little as 30 seconds,” it remains to be seen as to how fast the network will be once many people are on the network and downloading their own media.

Construction on the network is expected to begin next year and should be ready to start rolling out to various parts of the city by the end of 2015. New York City plans to build the network by installing “up to 10,000 Links across the five boroughs.”

What does that mean? Let TechCrunch explain:

Think of the Link as a kiosk to replace the city’s old telephone booths. They’re designed to enable wireless connectivity, but will also have interactive components and display advertising. Among the many features of the LinkNYC terminals are free phone calls to anywhere in the U.S., a touchscreen tablet interface to access city services, interactive maps, free emergency and information calls, charging stations and displays for advertising and public service announcements. – TechCrunch

The network will also be one of the few municipal services that offers encrypted network connections.