LinkNYC's free Wi-Fi could threaten cellular carriers with Passpoint roaming, speedy connections. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint launched in 2012 as an industry-wide solution to streamline network access in hotspots and eliminate the need for users to find and authenticate a network each time they connect. Carriers should feel threatened as dropped calls and call quality continues to decline as carriers continue to favor wireless speeds over connection quality and reliability.
According to a handful of testers, Wifi is lightning fast connection speeds at 70 Mbps or higher. LinkNYC promised to deploy over 7,500 free, ad-supported Wi-Fi hotspots across the city's five boroughs over the next several years. Each kiosk will have USB ports for charging phones.
Four companies built LinkNYC: Qualcomm, the chip designer Comark, which builds the physical kiosks; Titan, a display advertising firm; and Control Group, which was the company leading the strategy for the effort. In June, Google’s Sidewalk Labs subsidiary was a investor in the move that resulted in Titan and Control Group merging to become Intersection.
The five-borough LinkNYC network, which will be funded through advertising revenues, will be built at no cost to taxpayers and will generate more than $500 million in revenue for the City over the first 12 years.