March 23, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan
Several kiosks offering Wi-Fi and cellphone charging will be going up in Astoria in the coming weeks.
The city will be installing about three LinkNYC kiosks to replace old payphones along Broadway that are slated to be up and running in April, barring any complications, said Community Board 1 District Manager Florence Koulouris.
The kiosks will have charging stations for Android and Apple devices, free high-speed Wi-Fi, and a tablet with maps of the area and city information.
Over the next several years, the City will install around 7,500 links throughout the five boroughs, and the Links have slowly been making their way in to Queens.
So far there are 82 links in Queens, with several about to go live in Long Island City.
Koulouris said that though the program will begin with three Links along Broadway in Astoria, the team installing the kiosks showed a map of 10 other proposed locations at a meeting last night, and the community will have the chance to propose other locations as well.
Finding locations for each Link can be challenging, Koulouris explained, because it relies on a fiber network and there are city regulations limiting where they can be put.
As the program grows, new Link locations will need to be cleared by the Community Board, allowing community review and input on the process.
“I have already submitted a list of places that I want them to install the Links,” Koulouris said, adding that she hopes to see Links near the new ferry dock in Hallets Point, as well as near the various NYCHA campuses in Astoria, among other locations.
Once a location is cleared, Koulouris said that installation and activation takes about 15 weeks in total.
All LinkNYC services will be entirely free, and will be funded by advertising at the kiosks. Koulouris said that local businesses will have the chance to advertise their goods and services at a nearby Link, and would even be able to choose the timeslot that their advertisement appeared.
For more information on LinkNYC, visit https://www.link.nyc