De Blasio Administration and CityBridge Announce LinkNYC Has Reached One Million Users in Less Than One Year

January 18, 2017

Link usage rises to 4 million Wi-Fi sessions every week; 78 percent of New Yorkers have a favorable opinion of world’s largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network

NEW YORK––LinkNYC announced today that the world’s largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network has added its millionth user less than a year after publicly launching on the streets of New York City. As of January 4th, over 1,040,000 people – more than the populations of San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, or Denver – have signed up to use its gigabit Wi-Fi service, with approximately 40,000 people joining the network for the first time each week.

“Bringing free Wi-Fi to our sidewalks is an important part of our efforts to increase internet access for all New Yorkers. It’s no surprise that people are using the LinkNYC program and are happy about the services it provides – ultrafast Wi-Fi, phone calls, and more – at no cost to taxpayers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“With Link kiosks now in all five boroughs, we have helped more than a million New Yorkers and visitors get online at the fastest speeds available in New York City, for free.” said Jen Hensley, General Manager of LinkNYC. “Less than one year in, we are thrilled with the response to LinkNYC.”

LinkNYC By the Numbers (As of January 4, 2017)

  • Total Wi-Fi subscribers: 1,040,000
  • New Wi-Fi sign-ups per week: 40,000
  • Wi-Fi sessions per week: 4,000,000
  • Data downloaded by LinkNYC users since launch: 555,710 Gigabytes
  • Busiest day by users: Jan 4, 2017: 125,756 unique users
  • Busiest day by data transferred: Dec 31, 2016: 4,656 GB

New Yorkers Know – and Love – LinkNYC
71% of New Yorkers are aware of LinkNYC, and of them, 92% believe it has positive benefits for New York City, according to a survey conducted by Sachs Insights of 1,000 people across the New York City region. Among those aware of LinkNYC:

  • 78% have a favorable opinion of the network.
  • 89% believe LinkNYC makes NYC more innovative than other cities.
  • 89% appreciate that LinkNYC’s services are free thanks to advertising, which reaches over 11 million people weekly.

Where to Find the City’s Most Popular Link
The city’s most popular Link stands in Herald Square (at 1313 Broadway) and has served about 600,000 Wi-Fi sessions all by itself.

“We’re incredibly excited to see the overwhelmingly positive response to LinkNYC over the past year,” said Anne Roest, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “Reaching 1 million users demonstrates that New Yorkers and our City’s record-breaking number of visitors are taking advantage of the free services that LinkNYC provides - superfast Wi-Fi, USB charging, City and emergency services, and phone calls. Our progress has been incredible so far, with over 500 active kiosks across the city, and we will continue to build on this ambitious, first-of-its kind network across the City in the coming years.”

“Over 1 million users is a major milestone but it is just the beginning for LinkNYC. As the network expands and the word gets out, LinkNYC will continue to be a key component to provide connectivity for New Yorkers across the 5 boroughs,” said New York City Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño.

“Free Wi-Fi internet access on our streets has been a game-changing new public service, and these numbers show it,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “It’s not often that government rolls out an entirely new service to the public. Despite the inevitable bumps in the road, LinkNYC shows what government can do when we’re ambitious and forward-looking.”

“LinkNYC has set the standard for free public municipal Wi-Fi,” said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the Committee on Technology. “LinkNYC has provided a great benefit for residents, commuters, and tourists alike. Now with over 1,000,000 users, it’s clear that LinkNYC is here to stay and that free public Wi-Fi is the new standard for tech-friendly cities. I thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Roest for their for their efforts.”

“Through advanced technology, New Yorkers of all backgrounds can now connect – locally and globally - for free. LinkNYC is a 21st Century approach to closing the digital divide. I would like to congratulate Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) for improving accessibility within Fort Greene and Crown Heights. I look forward to LinkNYC’s continued expansion throughout the 35th Council District and the City of New York,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.

“High speed broadband is the way of the present and future,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal. “In an ever increasingly digital world, we must take proactive steps to improve access to the Internet and technology for New Yorkers. I applaud the swift progress New York City has made in reaching over 1,000,000 users of LinkNYC in just one year! Let us keep up these innovative efforts and lead the nation in providing free public Wi-Fi.”

"I am very excited that our city is able to catapult into the 21st Century's Technological Age reaching the 1 million user milestone in under one year,” said Council Member Vincent Gentile. “LinkNYC has provided a facelift to New York City by replacing old payphones with free Wi-Fi kiosks empowering millions across the five boroughs. Congratulations on the accomplishment and here's to 1 million more!"

“The commemoration of 1 million unique users proves that our city is ready to move towards a more efficient and technologically friendly NYC,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “Not only do these stations provide our communities with free Wi-Fi networks, they also promote accessibility to city services and provide charging stations. I would like to commend the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications and CityBridge for their innovation to ensure our city remains at the forefront of technology.”

“In the reality of the world we live in, access to the Internet cannot be considered a luxury. So much of what we do depends on web connectivity, and is vital to people being able to exercise their right to freedom of expression. I applaud LinkNYC in working to make sure New Yorkers have access to Wi-Fi at no cost to the City’s taxpayers,” said Council Member Jumaane D. Williams.

About LinkNYC
LinkNYC is the first-of-its-kind communications network replacing the city’s payphones to build the world’s fastest, largest free public Wi-Fi network at no cost to taxpayers. Since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the public launch of LinkNYC in February, more than 600 Links have been installed across all five boroughs. Each Link provides New Yorkers with free, fast Wi-Fi, free domestic calling, two USB charging ports, Maps, and direct access to 911 and 311.

To find a Link near you, visit: link.nyc/find-a-link.html

pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov

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