Newark to get 45 Wi-Fi kiosks, special app as part of LinkNWK, city announces

Newark continues to build its reputation for networking technology, as city officials announced Thursday the creation of the LinkNWK network, with 45 Link Wi-Fi kiosks coming to the city in the fall, complete with a special app to help residents and visitors take advantage of free, secure Wi-Fi.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, the Newark Community Economic Development Corp. and smart cities technology company Intersection announced the network.

“LinkNWK was made possible by Newark’s smart investments in fiber infrastructure,” Baraka said in a prepared statement. “It will allow our residents, workforce and visitors to access free, super-fast Wi-Fi.”

Intersection and its partners have deployed more than 2,000 Link kiosks in New York City and the U.K., with plans for hundreds more in other North American cities, including Philadelphia.

However, Newark will have the first Link network to take advantage of the Link Wi-Fi App, which will enabled mobile users to securely connect to the Wi-Fi and offers features including the nearest available hotspots and more.

“With the new app, (users) will be able to do so with the peace of mind of a secure, encrypted connection,” Baraka said. “We are thrilled to be the first Link city to launch with the app and the better security it brings.”

The city’s Link kiosks will also offer free mobile device charging, phone calls, access to municipal service, maps, directions and street information. Kiosks will eventually be situated in each of Newark’s five wards, near major traffic centers such as Newark Penn Station and prominent corridors such as Broad Street, Market Street and Clinton Avenue.

“Newark is at the forefront of technology and leveraging it for the public and economic development,” Aisha Glover, CEO and president of NCEDC, said in a statement. “It’s not enough to just have free and public Wi-Fi, but residents and businesses need to trust that their experience is fast and safe. We are happy to play a role in bringing this exciting technology to Newark and continue our trajectory as a tech hub.”

LinkNWK is the result of a collaboration between the city, NCEDC and New Jersey Institute of Technology that enables residents to benefit from the Newark Fiber program, designed to bring affordable gigabit internet to the city.

The network will be free, as it is supported by advertising.

“Unlike many public Wi-Fi networks, the LinkNWK network will ensure a secure, encrypted connection for all Apple and Android phones through the Link Wi-Fi app,” Jen Hensley, president of Link at Intersection, said in a statement. “We are excited to be working with our partners in Newark to increase access to the internet and raise the bar on security at the same time.”

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