The first set of Wi-Fi hubs in the city have been installed and are now providing free internet to people walking along Third Avenue between 15th and 19th Streets, The Verge reports.
The project, which will see the conversion of defunct pay phones into Wi-Fi kiosks, finally got underway last month, with one of the first hubs being installed on the corner of East 15th Street and Third Avenue. A total of four hubs have been installed so far in the area. Installation work will continue along Third Avenue before it moves to Eighth Avenue in the next few weeks, followed by the rest of the city.
The Verge tested out one of the hubs and found speeds greater than 300Mbps for both uploads and downloads. The hubs provide a range of services including a touch screen panel that lets you browse through city services and directions, free domestic calls, and charging stations. What's more two 55-inch advertising displays on each kiosk will ultimately generate $500 million for the city in the next 12 years.
The current concept was first introduced during the Bloomberg Administration. When complete, LinkNYC, as the free Wi-Fi service is officially known, will see the installation of 7,500 hubs across the city. The current network is still in beta stage and some minor changes are anticipated as more hubs continue to be installed.