In a new report Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is calling on the City to pursue an environmentally-friendly component to the new, free wireless network, LinkNYC, announced by Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) last week.
The new system, which will replace existing public pay telephones with devices to create the world’s fastest municipal Wi-Fi network, should include the installation of solar panels as part of the new installations, said Borough President Diaz.
“DoITT needs to ensure that the implementation of the ‘LinkNYC’ plan is equitable, resilient and meets the needs of the people of this city regardless of their neighborhood or income level. Serious questions have been raised about ‘LinkNYC,’ and DoITT must address those concerns before this contract is approved,” said Borough President Diaz.
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has taught us that all major infrastructure investments need to be implemented in a manner that incorporates sustainability and resiliency for major emergencies.
The design selected has several desirbale feautures. However, the 24-hour battery back up is insufficient. After Hurricane Sandy, lower Manhattan was out of power for five days. “LinkNYC” should be required to implement a design that incorporates solar power and reduces the network’s dependence on ConEdison.
Borough President Diaz’s report outlines various recommendations for the implementation of “LinkNYC,” including the potential inclusion of fire call boxes as part of the system. The report also discusses the various fiscal issues similar networks have faced in other cities, such as Philadelphia, Seattle and Akron. Greater transparency is needed in regards to the projected advertising revenue generated by this new system, in order to ensure greater equity in service delivery.
The report can be found at http://on.nyc.gov/11PZgCl.