The Bowery Gets Its First LinkNYC Wi-Fi Kiosks

Posted on: July 14th, 2016 at 5:12 am by
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Here we go; your first sightings of those LinkNYC kiosks south of Houston Street on the Lower East Side. These two payphone-killers are positioned on either side of the Bowery, straddling Delancey. Both were installed this week and, thus far, remain inactive.

LinkNYC street furniture – standing 9-foot-6-inches – comes equipped with “the fastest public” free Wi-Fi signal, free domestic phone capability, two USB charging ports, and annoying digital displays. Customers can also use the touchscreen (aka Link tablet) to look up directions and find out about other city services.

Privacy concerns aside, some out there fear that these kiosks not only clog the sidewalk, but could attract squatters of all sorts. A dispatch in DNAinfo a couple days ago notes that LinkNYC outposts on the Upper East Side have become encampments for phone-chargers as well as purported drug deals.

Valerie Mason, the president of the East 72nd Street Neighborhood Association, said she saw drug deals happen in front of two ;kiosks in her neighborhood on the Fourth of July. The dealers were makings phone calls and handing over plastic baggies, she said.

The LinkNYC program was officially announced last year as public-private partnership between CityBridge and NYC. These Bowery kiosks are just two of the overall 4,550 hot-spots the city plans to install by July 2019. According to the agreement with CityBridge, that number will increase to 7,500 across the Five Boroughs by 2023. The goal is to feed us more advertising fully replace the crop of holdout phone-booths that still dot the area.

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