Newark to Join NYC and London in Offering Link Smart City Program
Newark plans to partner with Intersection to deploy kiosks around the city that offer free gigabit Wi-Fi, phone calls, wayfinding, device charging, access to city services and other features—all at no cost to taxpayers
NEWARK, NJ — April 4, 2018 — Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced his plans with Intersection, the leading smart cities technology and media company, to launch LinkNWK (pronounced Link Newark), a communications network of sidewalk kiosks that will provide residents and visitors of Newark with free gigabit Wi-Fi, mobile device charging, free phone calls to anywhere in the U.S., access to municipal services, maps and directions, and real-time local information on city streets at no cost to taxpayers or users. When LinkNWK is installed, Newark will join New York, London, and Philadelphia in deploying these cutting-edge kiosks. The program will run on Newark Fiber, the City’s public–private gigabit data network.
LinkNWK will be the result of a collaboration between The City of Newark, The Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC), and New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) to enable city residents to benefit from Newark Fiber—a program designed to bring affordable gigabit internet to the city. Newark Fiber, together with the city’s famed research universities, tech-savvy workforce, and proximity to New York City is making Newark a technology center and has resulted in Amazon choosing Newark as the host city of “Voice,” a three-day conference on artificial intelligence and natural language processing on NJIT’s campus.
“LinkNWK is only possible in Newark because of our incredible dark fiber and technology assets.” Said Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “What you’re seeing is another example of how Newark residents benefit from the City’s tech infrastructure and accelerating growth as a technology hub.”
“With its growing tech community, renowned academic institutions, and key investments in municipal fiber, Newark is a perfect partner for the Link program.” said Ari Buchalter, CEO of Intersection. “As we’ve seen in New York City and London, providing free high-speed Wi-Fi, digital services, and engaging content on city streets enriches the experience of the city for residents, workers, and visitors. We are thrilled to welcome Newark to the growing network of Link cities looking to modernize and improve the urban experience.”
With LinkNWK, the plan is for an initial investment of 45 kiosks to be installed throughout Newark, encompassing areas around Newark Penn Station, the Prudential Center, and along Broad Street, Market Street, Martin Luther King Blvd., and Irvine Turner Blvd. Kiosks will also be installed on neighborhood corridors like Clinton Ave, Ferry St, South Orange Ave, and Bloomfield Ave. Kiosks will be placed in every one of Newark’s five wards.
LinkNWK will be free to all residents and visitors because it is supported through advertising on the Link displays. In addition to covering the costs of building, installing, maintaining, and upgrading LinkNWK, advertising is expected to generate revenue for NCEDC and the City to help fund other smart infrastructure programs. NJIT will also partner with Intersection to help explore innovative use cases for the Links.
“NJIT has long been a catalyst for technological innovation. In addition to our significant research output, we house New Jersey’s oldest and largest technology business incubator as well as the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII)—a portal and platform for applying NJIT’s intellectual and technological resources to challenges identified by industry partners,” said Joel S. Bloom, President of NJIT. “NJII’s unique operating model has enabled us to foster mutually beneficial collaboration among traditional marketplace competitors, such as IBM, Panasonic, Juniper, Nokia, and others. The LinkNWK program; the VOICE Summit that we will be hosting July 24 through July 26, which is sponsored by Amazon Alexa; and the MetroLab conference October 15 and 16 on NJIT’s campus build upon our tradition of bringing innovative technologies to Newark for the benefit of the city, its residents and its industries.”
Intersection has already deployed over 1,600 kiosks in New York City, through the CityBridge joint venture with Qualcomm and Comark and in London with partners Primesight and BT, with thousands more set to be deployed over the next few years. Intersection provides the software, content, and advertising, and oversees deployment, maintenance, and overall program management for Link in all cities. Kiosks are manufactured by Civiq Smartscapes. Since its launch in 2016, over 3.6 million people have registered to use Link’s free Wi-Fi, with tens of millions of Wi-Fi sessions, hundreds of thousands of free phone calls, and other kiosk services accessed each month. With LinkNWK, Newark joins a growing network of global connected cities.
The Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (Newark Community EDC) is the primary economic development catalyst for the State of New Jersey’s largest city, Newark. It is organized to retain, attract and grow businesses, enhance small and minority business capacity, and spur real estate development.
Intersection is at the forefront of the smart cities revolution, improving the experience of public places through technology that provides connectivity, information, and engaging content and experiences. With award-winning products like LinkNYC, the largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network in the world, Intersection connects the digital and physical worlds, enhancing people’s journeys through their cities and offering brands the opportunity to drive more relevant and engaging advertising, rooted in real-world context. Intersection partners with cities, transit systems, airports, and real estate developments around the globe, as well as advertisers seeking to reach audiences on a global, national, or local scale. Learn more at www.intersection.com.
One of only 32 polytechnic universities in the United States, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cybersecurity, in addition to others. NJIT is ranked #1 nationally for the upward economic mobility of its lowest-income students and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.