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Stringer, borough presidents call for public Wi-Fi bill of rights

City Comptroller Scott Stringer and the five borough presidents came together Wednesday to demand that the city ensures all New Yorkers receive the best public Wi-Fi access.

Stringer said the Franchise and Concession Review Committee, on which he and the borough presidents sit, will hold a hearing Monday to review the agreement to retrofit the Big Apple's pay phones into Wi-Fi hot spots.

The city's Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications said the 10,000 LinkNYC kiosks would provide Internet speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

Stringer noted the majority of those hot spots will be in Manhattan.

"We need guarantees in writing to ensure that everyone has equal access to high-speed Internet, that our communities are consulted when decisions are made about how to deploy this technology, and that this contract provides for state-of-the-art public Wi-Fi, now and in the future," he said in a statement.

The leaders said they will propose a "Five Borough Broadband Bill of Rights" and improve the transparency between CityBridge LLC, the group that was awarded the contract for the kiosks, and the public. The bill calls for equal speeds in all five boroughs, provides more public input in the installation and deployment of LinkNYC, and encourages the use of solar power.

Representatives from DoITT didn't return messages for comment by press time. The first 500 kiosks are expected to be deployed late 2015 or early 2016.


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