NYC’s New Electronic Hubs Offer Free Public Wi-Fi

January 30, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. hub /hʌb/ (n.) – a facility that provides many useful services
Example: The mall has a food hub of vending machines in the parking lot.

2. around-the-clock /əˈraʊnd ðəˈklɒk/ (adj.) – always operating, never stopping
Example: Some food restaurants are open around-the-clock.

3. domestic /dəˈmɛs tɪk/ (adj.) – related to being in one’s own country
Example: Businessmen travel via domestic flights to go from city to city.

4. kiosk /ˈki ɒsk, kiˈɒsk/ (n.) – an interactive electronic machine made to display advertisements
Example: Our company decided to install kiosks that feature our new products.

5. jack /dʒæk/ (n.) – a socket where electronic plugs are inserted for power or connection
Example: She cannot transfer files from her flash drive because all the computer jacks are broken.


Read the text below.
Electronic hubs called LinkNYC will be installed in the streets of NYC this year.

Each hub will be built as a checkpoint for high-speed around-the-clock Wi-Fi. It can also be used to make domestic calls. The LinkNYC is particularly helpful in unexpected emergency situations, as it can quickly access emergency channels and charge cellular devices. It is also a multipurpose kiosk, able to provide directions and services as well as display advertisements and public-service announcements. The best thing about the LinkNYC, however, is that all the services it offers are free.

The hubs will replace the city’s public payphones. The developers have committed to produce 10,000 hubs for the city. The first 500 hubs are expected to be operational in five NYC districts by the end of the year. However, not a penny will come from taxpayers. Instead, the project will be financed with the advertisement revenue that the hubs generate. By next decade, it is estimated that the hubs will make more than $500 million of profit for the city.

The LinkNYC is a big step up from the payphone. It is designed with a sleek and lean structure to occupy less space. In addition, its Wi-Fi connection has a range of 150 feet. Advertisements are displayed in a large digital screen. Directions and services can be accessed using a touch-screen tablet, which has speakers and a microphone. It also has a USB slot for charging, and a jack for headphones.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you want to have Wi-Fi kiosks like LinkNYC in your city? Why or why not?
·         Aside from the features stated above, what feature would you add to LinkNYC? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the disadvantages of having free Wi-Fi or internet connection all the time? Please explain your answer.
·         Other than payphones, what old technological devices can be replaced and/or improved? Please explain your answer.

January 30, 2015