Link5G

Fifth-generation wireless technology, or 5G, must roll out Citywide to enhance cellular connectivity by providing broadband-like speeds on mobile devices for all New Yorkers. The buildout of 5G has already begun on pole tops, rooftops, and other infrastructure.

Now, the City is proposing a design to expand 5G through the city's existing LinkNYC franchise: Link5G.

Link5G supports all the City's efforts to advance digital equity where it is needed most – in the outer boroughs and above 96th Street in Manhattan – with particular emphasis on expanding affordable cellular options at broadband-like speeds. This proposed Link5G design would add 5G to the suite of services LinkNYC offers, which currently includes high-speed Wi-Fi, free nationwide calling, device charging, and access to 311 and 911.

Link5G Design

During a public meeting on October 18, the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) will present the Link5G design to the Public Design Commission (PDC). Bringing 5G to Links would strategically leverage street assets to speed the equitable rollout of 5G across the city, helping to close the digital divide.

The new Link5G design includes two options: one with digital advertising screens and a second without screens. Although the size of the screen would not change, the proposed structure must be taller in order to adequately provide 5G service. Both designs would be as tall as existing street poles and would be similar to the previously PDC-approved designs for 5G equipment on street poles. Link5G would also allow multiple mobile telecommunications carriers to house equipment in each kiosk, allowing enhanced coverage in an area for customers of several wireless companies.

Design Input

In order for Link5G to provide all these services, the design must include these elements:

  • Must provide multi-tenant, multi-technology wireless services
    • Minimum transmitter height of 19.5'
    • Space for radio equipment, cooling, and cabling
    • Robust structural integrity
    • Enough room for Wi-Fi and multi-carrier equipment
    • Must adhere to FCC safety regulations
  • Must align with current LinkNYC aesthetic
  • Must be safely and sustainably maintainable
  • Must minimize disruption to pedestrians and streetscape

DoITT is seeking the public's comments on this design proposal. Such comments may include: neighborhood aesthetic, size, and other feedback on visual impact.


Draft designs of existing kiosks, but with versions that extend an additional 32' high, and with a cylindrical pole top
These renderings show the proposed Link5G kiosk with and without screens, left; and the proposed Link5G kiosk with screens for commercial and manufacturing areas, right.


Commitment to Equity

Earlier this year, the Franchise and Concession Review Commission (FCRC) approved an amendment to the LinkNYC franchise that requires CityBridge, LinkNYC's operator, to install 90 percent of new LinkNYC kiosks in the outer boroughs and above 96th Street in Manhattan. DoITT has additionally made a commitment to new minimum LinkNYC build in neighborhoods with a lack of other broadband options, lower median annual income, lack of existing LinkNYC infrastructure, and high levels of pedestrian and street traffic in these neighborhoods:

  • Bronx: Hunts Point and Longwood
  • Brooklyn: Bushwick, Brownsville and Ocean Hill
  • Manhattan: Inwood and Washington Heights
  • Queens: Rockaway, Jamaica and Hollis
  • Staten Island: Port Richmond, St. George, Stapleton

Although these areas will be prioritized, each community district in NYC will have LinkNYC kiosks.

Members of the public who want to submit comments directly to DoITT can e-mail 5GDesignFeedback@doitt.nyc.gov. To submit comments directly to the PDC, e-mail designcommission@cityhall.nyc.gov.

Learn more about Link5G

Click a topic, or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal its answer.

Design Consistency

The new structure would be generally comparable in height to most street poles, 32 feet, and is consistent with existing LinkNYC kiosks and the previously approved single- and multi-tenant 5G coverings for street poles.

Locations of Link5G

Ninety percent of the new structures would be installed in the outer boroughs and above 96th Street in Manhattan to expand connectivity to underserved communities.

Only one Link5G would be permitted to be installed per block, and only on one side of the street per block. All LinkNYC kiosks must be at least 50 feet apart.

Benefits

The same high-speed LinkNYC Wi-Fi, free nationwide calling, device charging, and access to 311 and 911 will be expanded to thousands of locations across the City over the next several years. These areas will also benefit from enhanced 5G networks though multiple cellular carriers.

As thousands of new kiosks would be built to expand 5G, the City's efforts to expand broadband access to New Yorkers would also benefit from the fiber run to each new Link5G. This will improve New Yorkers' access to additional broadband providers and help reduce prices through competition.

Health and Safety

Pursuant to their franchise agreements, Mobile Telecommunications franchisees are required to comply with all Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") guidelines related to radio frequency ("RF") emissions, and DoITT is committed to holding each franchisee to this standard.

The federal government regulates radio emissions as they relate to health or environmental concerns and constrains local governments from doing more. For more FCC information on wireless devices and health concerns, please visit: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-devices-and-health-concerns.