Hard reset: It’s Plan B for LinkNYC

At Third Avenue and East 16th Street on a February morning five years ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio called 311.

The call marked the first use of LinkNYC, the 10-foot-tall obelisks that on top of offering free digital calls, the mayor said, would blast out “the Wi-Fi network New York City deserves—the biggest and fastest in the world and completely free-of-charge.”

New York’s private partner, CityBridge, would replace old pay phones with a modern network of 7,500 kiosks spread throughout the five boroughs, offering free Wi-Fi, phone calls and USB charging ports—all paid for with digital advertising dollars, of which the city would get a cut worth hundreds

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