Tech Groups in New York City have decided to replace obsolete phone booths with free Wi-Fi hotspots that can be used by anyone. If it works, this will be the world’s biggest and fastest local network offered to people free of cost.
Wi-Fi hotspots will offer free Internet to the people and the speed will be super fast, 1000 megabits per second, which is 100 times faster than the average wireless carrier offered. The new system of Internet will be finally online in the coming summer, and it’s been said that 500 hotspots will be running by July. However, the plans are much bigger than this, and eventually it is projected that 7500 hotspots will be installed early next year.
9.5 feet tall kiosks, displaying electronic screens will be standing on the sidewalk space. This whole project is supported by advertising which will be displayed on the screens on each side. Don’t worry, you will also be able to make phone calls for free if you need. And you can also recharge your phone’s battery and a tablet for web surfing at the hub as well.
The project is run by CityBridge, and is named LinkNYC, a joint venture between three tech companies, Intersection, Qualcomm Inc., which is a smartphone chip maker, and a networking company CIVIQ. CityBridge says that its investment will be around $200 million, and they are expecting to generate around $500 million in revenue in the next 12 years. Free access to 911 and 311 will also be available.
Soon a trial will be given for testing, and people will be asked for feedback about the service and the features to improve their experience. After that, additional services and apps will be installed gradually.
Though many projects like this to offer free Wi-Fi have been started before in different cities, no one has been successful yet. The biggest reason for failure has before been that not enough users were attracted because of slow speeds, or because people were made to watch ads before they been connected.
Security is still a concern for public hotspots like this. According to a report by Risk Based Security which is an online security expert, in 2013, there were 822 billion records exposed annually. LinkNYC will have to take tight security measures to ensure people that their sensitive information is safe.
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