Free Wi-Fi and Phone Kiosks Launched for Upper East Side with Council Member Kallos and Manhattan Borough President Brewer

04/06/2016

New York, NY – Payphones on the Upper East Side are getting their first upgrade since 1898 with the launch of free Wi-Fi and phone kiosks from LinkNYC featuring Council Member Ben Kallos, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT).


“Payphones are now ‘freephones’ in New York City with free Wi-Fi and tablets to surf the web,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, a software developer and advocate for Universal Broadband. “Upper East Siders won’t have to worry about dead batteries or going over your monthly data as they use LinkNYC for free.”

 

“Wireless internet is the key public utility for the digital age. It’s hard to overstate how revolutionary delivering free, accessible WiFi to New York City’s neighborhoods will be,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I’m glad that Mayor de Blasio worked with me and my fellow borough presidents to improve the LinkNYC plan, and I look forward to seeing more and more LinkNYC kiosks in neighborhoods across Manhattan.”
 
The Upper East Side has already had 38 LinkNYC kiosks installed along Third Avenue with 303 former phone booth locations available for expansion. Today, Council Member Kallos used the LinkNYC kiosk for free Wi-Fi, to call his district office, browse NYC.gov, and charge his phone.

 

Since 2013, then candidate Kallos was supportive of Mayor Bloomberg “Reinvent Payphones” initiative raising awareness for information sessions and the upcoming request for proposals. In 2014, now Council Member Kallos advocated in Fast Company for upgrading phone booths, many of which lacked actual phones and providing phone service. This year, Kallos praised DoITT for the more than $20 million in annual advertising revenue for the City of New York generated from LinkNYC.

By this summer, there will be more than 500 Links in all five boroughs. LinkNYC kiosks are powered by a gigabit fiber optic network at least 100 times faster than any other public Wi-Fi and are able to support hundreds of simultaneous Wi-Fi users. At least 7,500 kiosks will be installed in the coming years across the city to bring free public Wi-Fi to millions of New Yorkers and visitors. LinkNYC kiosk locations will users to access free: 
  • Wi-Fi
  • Internet via built-in tablet
  • Phone calls anywhere in the United States
  • 911 call button
  • Power charging for personal devices via USB