Locals: Forget rich Park Slope, Red Hook and Gowanus need city’s free internet more

O, what a tangled web we weave: The Link NYC kiosks out on the streets.
Brooklyn Paper
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It is the missing link!

The city is just weeks away from flipping the switch on new free-internet kiosks in Park Slope, and plans to install several more in Prospect Heights in about a month — but residents of Red Hook and Gowanus claim they’re being left in the cyber lurch, and are demanding officials dole out the gratis web connections with a more even hand.

“You’re missing a hell of a segment of the Gowanus and Red Hook population that could use it,” said Community Board 6 transportation committee member Jerry Armer at meeting on Thursday, where the city’s contractor provided a presentation on the program. “If you really want to bridge the divide that’s one of the places to bridge it.”

The city has already installed eight of its super high-speed Link NYC booths along Park Slope’s Fifth Avenue — and will follow up with more along Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights — which will project gigabyte-per-second download speeds in a radius of roughly half-a-football-field when they’re turned on two weeks from now, according to a rep.

“You can download a movie in a moment,” said Ruth Fasoldt of Intersection, the telecommunications company doing the installation. “It’s awesome.”

But if there’s anyone who can afford to pay for brain-melting information-superhighway speeds out of their own pockets, it’s the residents of Park Slope, according to Armer.

“I’m curious as to why you’re in the community that has pretty damn good coverage to begin with,” he said.

Fasoldt responded that it is just because Park Slope already has the infrastructure for the booths.

“It came down a fiber route that already exists and, now that we have this, we’ll be able to break off into other neighborho­ods,” she said.

Intersection and the city typically look to put local Link booths in old pay-phone sites, because Mayor DeBlasio has jurisdiction over the use of phone booths, and replacing them with the wifi doesn’t require any kind of public review.

But that’s not to say the city can’t or won’t install Link kiosks in Red Hook — where there’s a decided lack of pay phones — just that doing so will require an additional 60-day public comment period, during which locals and lawmakers would have an opportunity to nitpick.

Intersection has installed 700 stations around the city so far but still has 6,800 more to go — and most of those locations haven’t been selected yet — so chances are good that the spurned neighborhoods won’t stay off the grid forever, Fasholdt said.

Still, the committee members voted unanimously to fire off a letter to the city’s tech agency demanding it give a little online love to the western parts of Community Board 6.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: It's Intersection not Intersect.
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Reasonable discourse

Holly Willoughby from Park Slope says:
I'm sure they would gladly install in those neighborhoods, but if they did we all know what kind of filth those people would use the internet to view. This program isn't a publicly sponsered way to support their perverse interests.
March 20, 2017, 9:46 am
Mike from Brooklyn says:
In Park Slope the kiosks require no community review.

In Gowanus/Red Hook it does require community review.

Anything the community has to review involves the small in numbers but very vocal group of people who whine about any semblance of change in their neighborhood.

That is why Park Slope has these and Gowanus/Red Hook do not. It's not worth the headache.
March 20, 2017, 9:59 am
Mike L from Kensington says:
I can definitely understand red hook needing this vital service. Gowanus..well..any walk through gowanus will immediately show how the neighborhood has changed in just a few years from working class to wealthy. No working class people can surely afford all the new high rises and condos that have been built in the last few years. Other neighborhoods that could surely use this free service more than park slope and prospect heights are my neighborhood Kensington which is still primarily working class and keep working south from here and these areas would benefit the most from much needed free internet access.
March 20, 2017, 11:42 am
Andrew Porter from Brooklyn Heights says:
Ironically, the recently installed kiosk just south of the intersection of Cadman Plaza West and Clinton Street is now behind the fencing around the soon-to-be-demolished library there. So it won't be accessible for several years.

Way to go, NYC Planning Dept.!
March 20, 2017, 11:55 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
To group all people who live in Park Slope as wealthy and without need for this service is absurd. Everyone should remember rent stabilization laws and the fact many people in the Park Slope area are low income and will benefit from free WiFi service. Park Slope haters beware of your failure to comprehend the truth because of your hating.

Having stated above, the peopless of Red Hook need this free WiFi service too!
March 20, 2017, 12:26 pm
Sid from Boerum hill says:
Cb2 transportation committee was briefed on these kiosks. The internet function on the kiosk w as disabled on the kiosk but you can still connect to the internet on WiFi on your personal device. Where they are replacing an already existing telephone booth on city owned or controlled space no additional approval is required but newly installations at New sites will be.
March 20, 2017, 2:09 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For the most part, I just use these kiosks to charge up my phone while the free internet access is secondary to this, plus you don't need an adaptor plug for the charging chord when charging and/or using the network.
March 20, 2017, 5:07 pm
Bobbi Toon says:
Those neighborhoods don't need wi fi, what they needs is to read a book! Ink on paper. No network needed, HONEY.
March 20, 2017, 7:34 pm
Ronald from Queens says:
Are people really using this to view porn??
March 21, 2017, 8:39 am
Soured from Red Hook says:
Follow the money. The kiosks make their money (50-50 split with NYC) from advertising revenue. Neither NYC or LinkNYC have any incentive to waste good advertising potential in low income neighborhoods. I would wager that the install rollout locations will be commensurate high income neighborhoods.
March 21, 2017, 10:20 am
Sid from Boerum hill says:
Ronald..It is my understanding that when the first kiosks were activated your could view any website on the screen on the kiosk. Some people did view porno and it could be seen by others. The internet screen has been inactivated but the WiFi function still remains so that on your personal device you can watch anything like any hotspot. The Brooklyn public library lends hot spots for personal use where you watch anything.
March 21, 2017, 12:26 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
From what I have heard, LinkNYC doesn't share your private information, though that could be what they want us to believe.
March 21, 2017, 5:22 pm
Special Agent Info Collect from CIA says:
Tal - yes, that is what we want you to believe. It is entirely true. No questions please.
March 22, 2017, 5:53 am
Frank from Furter says:
In this day and age you have to be a complete idiot to think that someone somewhere doesn't have access to your browsing history. Ain't anything private. Ask Hillary.
March 22, 2017, 8:27 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
To be honest, I think that when these kiosks were first placed, they were originally to allow those to charge their cell phones. I think that having them connect to a network such as LinkNYC came after that. So far, I haven't heard of any identity thefts when I have used that said network, so I guess they probably do accept privacy or nobody has gotten to it yet.
March 22, 2017, 4:10 pm
Sid from Boerum hill says:
The story and good picture really doesn't show the kiosk or describe the functionality. See
March 22, 2017, 11:05 pm

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