That was fast — emphasis on fast.
Still in beta mode, the Wi-Fi hotspot hubs — replacing New York City's pay phones — registered 10 times faster than the city's current public Internet speeds and "infinitely" quicker than a neighboring Starbucks' connection, Gizmodo's Internet speed tests found.
This project expects to have 500 LinkNYC stations set up across New York City by mid-July. With each hotspot hub giving off a Wi-Fi radius of 400 feet and the initiative on pace to replace upwards of 7,500 public pay phones, LinkNYC could possibly empower New Yorkers with a high-speed Internet connection anywhere that they stand in the city.
In addition to a high-speed Wi-Fi signal, each LinkNYC hotspot hub touts USB outlets for charging devices as well as built-in 911 emergency access, city maps and even Skype-calling capability. The project also wants to assure New Yorkers that its station provides a secure, encrypted Wi-Fi network.
The LinkNYC stations are allowed to be offered free of charge — as of now, at least — because each hub doubles as large electronic advertising displays that could change multiple times throughout the day if desired.
The Verge previously reported that the LinkNYC stations will generate $500 million-plus in ad revenue for the Big Apple by 2028.