LinkNYC kiosks, installed to replace payphones on city sidewalks, allow users to make free telephone calls, use USB ports to charge devices, and access city resources like maps on the built-in tablet. (A short-lived internet browser feature was disabled after complaints that users were loitering at the devices and watching pornography.) But the kiosks’ most popular function, by far, is the access they provide to free wireless internet service. The number of users accessing the internet through LinkNYC kiosks has steadily increased since the network was publicly launched in February 2016, and thousands more kiosks are scheduled to be installed in the next few years.
As LinkNYC enters its second year, here’s a look at some figures on the system so far. All data is current as of the week of February 27, 2017.
• 631 LinkNYC kiosks currently active, of a planned 7,500
• 1,256,450 unique devices connected to the Wi-Fi network to date, approximately one for every seven New Yorkers
• 115 million Wi-Fi sessions served to date
• 870.86 terabytes of data transferred to date, the rough equivalent of streaming 33 years of high definition video on Netflix
• 150 feet wireless signal range of each kiosk
• 600,000 Wi-Fi sessions served in year one by the city’s most popular kiosk, at 1313 Broadway in Herald Square
• $0 spent by New York City taxpayers on the system, which is operated by a franchisee and generates revenue through advertising and sponsorships
Sources: LinkNYC and NYC Open Data