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LinkNYC covering the streets

Monday, August 08, 2016 - 01:59

A free, superfast Wi-Fi network called LinkNYC is replacing payphones in New York. Bobbi Rebell reports.

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A free, superfast Wi-Fi network called LinkNYC is replacing payphones in New York. Still in beta phase, it operates through these kiosks, now being installed in Manhattan and the Bronx. The plan is to have at least 7,500 of them in all five boroughs over the next eight years. (REPORTER'S BRIDGE) BOBBI REBELL, BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "All you need is your phone and an email address to log on to the free Wi-Fi. And, if you don't have your own device, you can use the kiosk's tablet." LinkNYC is being spearheaded by the City of New York, but the city is not shelling out a penny. Instead, it's working with a Google-backed consortium of private companies called CityBridge. CityBridge builds, owns, and operates the kiosks. It also hopes to make money on advertising. Colin O'Donnell is chief innovation officer Intersection, one of the companies under the CityBridge umbrella. (SOUNDBITE) COLIN O'DONNELL, CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER, INTERSECTION, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We've been thinking about how you can bring the internet into physical places, provide all kinds of services to people, and really close the gap between the people without internet access, and the people who do have internet access. In New York, it's a real serious issue, with one in four New Yorkers not having access to broadband speed internet." One concern - privacy. While LinkNYC has assured user's personal information will be secure, the terms of use allow CityBridge to monitor information about what websites are visited, how long pages are viewed, and what links are clicked. Sascha Segan is lead mobile analyst at PC Magazine. (SOUNDBITE) SASCHA SEGAN, LEAD MOBILE ANALYST, PCMAG.COM, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think that is an acceptable trade-off as opposed to people having no high-speed internet access options, or only an unaffordable private monopoly." But don't give up your home Wi-Fi just yet. Segan says, that LinkNYC kiosks may reach some residences, it is not going to reach every apartment in every building on every block.

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LinkNYC covering the streets

Monday, August 08, 2016 - 01:59