Link5G is a public-private partnership between the private carrier, CityBridge, and the New York City Office of Technology and Innovation. The stated goal is to “bring better cellular service, increased opportunities to connect to free Wi-Fi, and improved options for in-home broadband internet access.” The program has some similarities to the 4G wifi internet kiosks that currently stand on New York’s sidewalks: Like the 4G kiosks, Link5G will offer charging ports, phone service and wifi. Unlike 4G, Link5G poles are 32 feet tall and topped with transmitters for telecommunication service providers.
HDC emphatically supports Link5G’s stated goal, which is to bridge New York City’s digital divide by bringing wifi service to New York’s digital deserts, but we are troubled by the towers’ massive 32-foot height, utterly imposing scale, and complete lack of design, which seems to have no regard for New York’s historic resources, the city’s residential scale, or the urban experience.
We believe that every neighborhood deserves reliable connectivity, and every neighborhood deserves good design. We are proud to have been involved in the Link5G tower historic review and public feedback process since 2022.
From repeated letters to the Mayor and testimony in front of the City Council, to consulting party status on the Link5G tower Federal Section 106 Historic Review Process, and a successful appeal to the FCC to halt and clarify that process, HDC has been hard at work.
You can follow HDC’s Link5G tower advocacy on this page, which will be updated as the process continues to unfold:
HDC is currently reviewing thousands of individual tower locations across the 5 boroughs. We are glad that members of the public can now be part of the 5G tower review process, and provide commentary about the way individual towers will effect historic properties.
You can consult this map to find proposed 5G tower locations in your neighborhood.
In your comment, make sure to reference the address of a proposed or existing tower location and list any nearby historic properties that would be negatively impacted by this tower placement.