SUPERFAST FREE WIFI
COMING TO A STREET CORNER NEAR YOU.
Back in 2014 New York City announced its plans to install a network of free Wifi kiosks, or Links as they call them, across the city. Initially it raised as many questions as it had answers.
Fast-forward a little over a year and, with Google’s help, the project has come to fruition, with the first few Links being unveiled to the city’s Wifi-hungry citizens in January. Initial feedback is overwhelmingly positive, with average download speeds many times faster than the average American home.
While only a handful of Links are currently operational the plan is to launch 500 across the city by July, followed by a further 4,000 in the next 5 years. So, for New Yorkers at least, access to free gigabit wifi will soon never be more than a short walk away.
As well as free Wifi the tall, thin kiosks feature USB charging, free voice calls and a tablet for internet access, maps and directions. All this plus two digital screens, whose ads are currently the only revenue generated by the scheme. So the city’s great gift of free Wifi is also a great opportunity for advertisers to reach a captive audience.
Back in the UK we may not have long to wait for a similar experience, given recent news that Clear Channel UK has acquired Arqiva’s 1800 phone box sites. Clear Channel has announced plans to revamp the sites, installing kiosks, along the same lines as New York’s Link network.
So I guess we’ll see you down on the street corner soon then.
LINKS & FURTHER READING