LinkNYCNew York City’s public spaces are going wireless thanks to a public-private consortium that’s bringing gigabit WiFi connectivity through the new LinkNYC network, TechCrunch reports.

The LinkNYC network, funded by advertisements, will be more than 100 times faster than average municipal WiFi and 20 times faster than the average home internet service in NYC. Users will be able to download a two-hour high definition movie in as little as 30 seconds.

The project is promoted by CityBridge, an NYC-based consortium of telecom businesses. The FCRC will host a public hearing on the proposal before taking a vote on it.

New York is already one of the more connected cities in America and the world, but you have to go inside a place with WiFi and buy a drink or something. I have found that sometimes standing in the street right outside a Starbucks will work, but you shouldn’t rely on that. With the new LinkNYC system, you will be connected everywhere. Most people in NYC have unlimited cellular data plans, but the new system will offer faster data transfers to everyone, and it will be extremely useful to us foreigners.

The aging network of public pay telephones with be replaced with state-of-the-art “Links” – iconically designed connection points that house state-of-the-art wireless technology, interactive systems and digital advertising displays. Each Link will provide free 24/7 public WiFi, free phone calls anywhere in the U.S.,  touchscreen tablet interface to access City services, directions and more, easy access to 911 and 311, free charging station for your mobile devices, digital displays for advertising and public service announcements.

Encrypted Internet Connection Everywhere, Anytime

The Link network will be one of the first municipal WiFi services in the country to offer an encrypted network connection, which is good for security. On the other hand, most people are now aware that the government routinely monitors our private communications with the help of telecom carriers and Internet companies, so it’s evident that LinkNYC will most certainly not be free from Big Brother’s surveillance. At the same time, using a public WiFi network in the open air can boost privacy and anonymity if other appropriate security measures are taken.

With this new development, the city that never sleeps will also become the city where nobody is offline. It’s interesting to speculate on the possible impact of LinkNYC on the already vibrant Bitcoin economy in New York. It seems likely that Bitcoin, the currency of the Internet, will become more and more popular with ubiquitous high-speed Internet access and privacy options.

What do you think of the planned high-speed WiFi city network in New York City? Will it boost the Bitcoin economy in NYC? Comment below!

Images from CityBridge.