As we told you earlier this month, New York City hopes to have 500 payphones converted by July on the way to a total of 4450 hotspots available by 2020. Each one will provide speeds up to 1Gbps. The kiosks make money by selling ads that run on two screens. A USB port provides free charging of mobile devices, and an Android tablet allows users to browse the web. The Wi-Fi signal has a range of 150 feet from the kiosk.
While LinkNYC says that it won't stop people from using the free Wi-Fi all of the time, it did say that it could resort to throttling the data speeds of those who consume an inordinate amount of data. Considering that 27% of New Yorkers didn't have a broadband connection as of 2014, the LinkNYC kiosks should look like an oasis in the desert to them.
The City has a 12-year contract with CityBridge, which is in charge of the project. Over the length of the contract, the city is guaranteed $500 million versus 50% of the ad revenue. Beta testing will remain in force until 200 kiosks are up and running
New Yor City starts beta testing its LinkNYC Wi-Fi kiosks