OTI partners with CityBridge on LinkNYC project replacing NYC payphones with free wi-fi hubs

Press Release
Nov. 18, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) is pleased to announce its participation in LinkNYC, a plan to replace aging payphones in New York City with wi-fi hubs or "Links." Stationed city-wide, these “Links” will offer free wi-fi with gigabit speed, access to 911 and 311 services, and free calling within the US. Each “Link” will also feature a built-in Android tablet interface.

City leaders emphasized at a City Hall press conference that the in-house production of the project will support economic development for the city, by creating jobs for local residents to build and maintain the “Link” units. The system is projected to bring in around $500 million in advertising revenue for the city over the next 12 years.

The implementation team behind LinkNYC is a public-private partnership including NYC's payphone franchisee Titan, smart-city technology leader Qualcomm, hardware designers Comark, and user experience and design experts Control Group. Along with NYC-based technology workforce development group Per Scholas, OTI will be a partner working on job creation and community engagement, building on its work with Brooklyn’s Red Hook Initiative and other community groups conducting and facilitating "Digital Stewards" training programs.

“We are thrilled to be part of this plan, which is cutting-edge not only in its application of new, smart technologies, but because it prioritizes community engagement and support along with tools for universal broadband access,” said Greta Byrum, Senior Field Analyst with OTI. “We applaud the New York City Mayor’s Office and DOITT for this truly innovative approach.”

Expert contact:

Greta Byrum
Senior Field Analyst, Open Technology Institute, New America
(202) 596-3354

Media Contact

Jenny Mallamo
Media Relations Associate, New America
(202) 596-3368