- Gale Brewer - https://www.manhattanbp.nyc.gov -

Finance Board approves plan for public Wi-Fi hotspots

Today, all five borough presidents cast a yes vote together at the city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee for the LinkNYC plan to create a system of free public WiFi kiosks, after we secured an agreement on improvements to the plan. Specifically, today’s agreement meets the goals that I and the other Borough Presidents were fighting for by requiring community input on the siting of WiFi kiosks, and introducing more high-speed hotspots in neighborhoods outside the core of midtown Manhattan.

I have been involved in the process of redesigning and updating NYC’s payphones for a number of years, and from the beginning my goals have been ensuring wider access to WiFi for as many New Yorkers as possible and ensuring communities have robust opportunities for input on siting.

With today’s agreement, every local community board and the five borough presidents will have access to the proposed sites for WiFi hotspots and will be able to propose alternatives when they feel siting choices can be improved. This makes sense: robust community input will help ensure these kiosks are put where they can best be used. Today’s agreement also includes additional high-speed, 1-gigabit connections for neighborhoods in northern Manhattan and the other boroughs – ensuring more neighborhoods get the full benefit of this new service.

I have been excited from the beginning about the planned LinkNYC project, and with these adjustments, there is no doubt that LinkNYC has become a plan worth voting for. I’m glad that, working together, we could deliver this win for all New Yorkers!