In today’s technological age we’re constantly searching for a signal. Bonus points when we can lock into a Wi-Fi network so we don’t need to spend money on data plans. New York City has taken notice, and is exploring the possibility of installing Wi-Fi into streetlights across the entire city.
New York City has already invested in better Wi-Fi. It’s LinkNYC project will create a new communications network to replace a sub-par infrastructure. The plan involves creating “Links” all across the city with free services like high-speed Wi-Fi, phone calls, tablets for maps and city services, and device charging stations. The plan is to install over 7,500 Links over the next five years, free to use for anyone in the city.
It looks like that isn’t enough for one of the largest cities on the planet. According to New York Post, the city wants to invest in turning streetlights into high-speed Wi-Fi hotspots as well:
It’s unclear if service from the poles would be free. It’s also too early to say how much — if anything — the plan might cost taxpayers. The idea is still in the pre-planning stages and officials are trying to determine if the idea is feasible. But the service would be part of Mayor de Blasio’s push for every city resident and business to have “affordable, reliable, high-speed” Internet service by 2025.
The city has already experimented with one-off Wi-Fi enabled streetlights in the past, but not nearly on this scale. With 250,000 streetlights throughout the city, this program could bring high-speed internet to the millions of residents and visitors.
It will be interesting to follow how this project progresses. With an infrastructure largely built in the 90s, the United States is far behind on reliable, high-speed internet when compared to other first-world countries in Europe. We need to find ways to deliver the latest and greatest, and New York City is not afraid to experiment in order to get that done.
Learn more about LinkNYC: