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Mayor Adams, CTO Fraser, and LinkNYC Unveil First Link5G Kiosk in New York City

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Jul 11, 2022 - 06:01 AM

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams was today joined by New York City Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Matthew Fraser and LinkNYC CEO Nick Colvin to unveil the first active Link5G kiosk, located in the Morris Heights neighborhood of the Bronx. The new phase of LinkNYC — which provides free Wi-Fi, nationwide phone calls, and other digital services to New Yorkers — will offer 5G connectivity, with priority given to underserved areas throughout the five boroughs.

“Accessible broadband and phone service isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity. These new LinkNYC 5G kiosks are going to finally help to close the digital divide and expand and improve mobile technology coverage all over this city,” said Mayor Adams. “When it comes to digital services, we know that too many New Yorkers have been left behind. Our administration is committed to changing that and ensuring that all of our city’s residents have access to tech services, no matter where they live. Ninety percent of these new kiosks will be located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and above 96th Street in Manhattan — all areas that are affected by the digital divide. We thank LinkNYC for its partnership and for helping push forward our broader digital equity agenda.”

“The dawn of the Link5G era heralds a monumental evolutionary advance in our city’s LinkNYC program and our broader, ongoing efforts to bridge the digital divide,” said CTO and Office of Technology and Innovation Commissioner Matthew Fraser. “As New York City continues its post-pandemic revival, Link5G’s ultra-fast network speed and expanded mobile coverage will go a long way toward clearing the technological barriers so many New Yorkers encountered over the past few years. In addition, Link5G’s equity-centered rollout has the potential to lift up entire neighborhoods and communities that have languished as digital deserts amid this century’s rapid tech advances. I credit Mayor Adams for recognizing that New York City must empower the people who have the least access to tech in order for the city to reach its boundless potential. I look forward to continuing to work with the mayor and our partners at CityBridge as we launch Link5G across the city in the near future.”

“Today marks an important milestone on our path toward fulfilling LinkNYC’s mission — to bring digital connectivity to everyone in New York City’s five boroughs,” said LinkNYC CEO Nick Colvin. “Millions of New Yorkers have already used LinkNYC to get connected and we are proud to partner with Mayor Adams, Commissioner Fraser, and the city of New York to bring free, super-fast Wi-Fi and next-generation 5G infrastructure to even more New Yorkers over the next few years.”

Link5G will provide the needed infrastructure for cellular service providers to expand 5G wireless technology — the next generation of mobile phone service — across the five boroughs. Installation on the new kiosks is beginning summer of this year. While the city is working with LinkNYC, and in close collaboration with community stakeholders, to determine exact sittings for future kiosks, 90 percent will be located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and above 96th Street in Manhattan.

In order to provide resources to historically underserved communities, priority for new builds will be given to specified equity community districts that were chosen based on lack of other broadband options, lower median annual incomes, lack of existing LinkNYC infrastructure, and high levels of pedestrian and street traffic. Once fully deployed, there will be approximately 2,000 new Link5G kiosks throughout the five boroughs, which will bring the total LinkNYC network to at least 4,000 locations citywide.

The kiosks will offer expanded free services to New Yorkers with broader coverage, and newly available 5G spectrum radios will greatly increase coverage and capacity for all New Yorkers, especially in historically underserved areas.

“We are thrilled at this opportunity to be the first recipients of LinkNYC’s latest phase in tech development as we unveil their new Link5G Kiosk here in the Morris Heights section,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “The decision to launch the project in the West Bronx speaks to the leadership of Mayor Adams, LinkNYC CEO Nick Colvin, and New York City Chief Technology Officer Matt Fraser and their commitment to eliminating the digital divide in our city.”

“The Bronx, one of the hardest hit communities by COVID-19, has experienced longstanding health and socioeconomic inequities, including a lack of access to affordable and reliable broadband internet,” said New York State Assemblymember Yudelka Tapia. “I thank Mayor Adams for his commitment to end these disparities and coming to the Bronx to unveil the first Link5G kiosk in the city. Fast, reliable, and affordable broadband is not a luxury, it’s an essential utility for learning, working, public health, and to ensure all people can thrive.”

“Bringing advanced technology to communities is critical for basic access to mobile and internet connectivity,” said Clayton Banks, CEO, Silicon Harlem. “The new high-capacity Link5G infrastructure is another step forward to ensure technology can be deployed in an equitable manner.”

“From the information highway to digital technology at our doorsteps, this is the best innovation of the 21st century. God bless America,” said Dr. Bola Omotosho, chair, Bronx Community Board 5.

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