Theses Master's

Public Private Partnership in Equitable Urban Tech Delivery: LinkNYC

Kim, Jin Hong

When LinkNYC first launched in 2016, New York City initiated the largest municipal wireless network project in the world. The advertisement revenue from its digital kiosks would subsidize the cost of the city’s fiber network build-out while providing free Wi-Fi throughout New York City at zero cost to the taxpayer – it was widely seen as a strategy for the city to address its digital divide that prevailed especially in outer borough communities. Fast forward to today, the city is over 4,000 kiosks short of the 7,500 promised and significantly lacking services in outer boroughs where reliable internet access has been a dire need especially in the recent global pandemic.

This thesis asks what key measures key partners have taken and its effectiveness in the LinkNYC initiative to ensure equitable distribution of broadband to underserved communities. More specifically, this research looks at the broader discussion of broadband provision through public-private partnerships, like LinkNYC, and taking it as a case study in the different the approaches municipalities take on to provide universal broadband for all.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for KimJinHong_GSAPPUP_2021_Thesis.pdf KimJinHong_GSAPPUP_2021_Thesis.pdf application/pdf 2.17 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Wu, Weiping
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
July 14, 2021