Link5G is a public-private partnership initiative between CityBridge and the New York City Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI). 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.”
LANDMARK WEST! is not against 5G as a technology but has concerns about its physical manifestation on our public sidewalks. We believe design matters and alternatives exist to simply building 32′ tall storage shells across our City sidewalks. LW! has consulting party status for the Section 106 Review of the placement of these towers in our district. Read on to learn more about this issue, and support our efforts HERE.
Touted as a program that would bring free high-speed wifi to residents walking along the street as well as in their homes, the Link5G tower program began a “phase 2” launch following the failure of the first program, which saw millions of dollars in funds promised to the City unpaid. The solution was to continue advertising but now provide an entirely new network of locations for cell phone companies to host transmitters and other equipment in the shrouds atop the towers. Shrouds may not necessarily ever be full or even occupied, but they are built in hopes of the vendor that “tenants” are found.
To ensure that the goal of bridging the “digital divide” is met, the majority of the first-phase roll-out is intended for “digital deserts” where residents do not have reliable access to the internet.
Although alternative designs exist, (as evidenced in other Cities in America and globally) the applicant has never offered any alternate design to the Public Design Commission (despite their explicit requests for them) aside from the version “with advertising” and an alternate version “without advertising,” both of which still rise 32-feet high, bringing them in line with the third floors of most typical buildings.
In a letter HERE, the Manhattan Borough President, Mark Levine has expressed concerns over the rollout. In Community Board 7, Council Member Gale Brewer has requested that these towers not rise in her district (Council District 6), you can read her letter HERE. As of this writing, those proposed for CB7 are mapped for other council districts which serve our boundary. To see where these are planned citywide, click HERE. For a complete list of proposed Upper West Side sites, supporting materials, testimony and approval process status, please read on.
Read LW! past statements on the 5G Program:
– 12/13/2021 LW! Testimony before the Public Design Commission
Read our 10/31/2023 Colleagues letter to Mayor Adams
Proposed Tower Location
715 Columbus Avenue
SITE NAME: MN-07-134709_A
ADDRESS: 715 Columbus Avenue
COMMUNITY DISTRICT: Manhattan CD6, CM Gale Brewer
REVIEW DOCUMENTS: Not Yet Available
LW! Testimony: under consideration
Clock has not yet begun
Read more about this issue from our Watch Blog:
5G IN THE CITY By Megan Fitzpatrick Many of you have been following the 5G plans for NYC. While LW! supports accessibility to the technology, we remain steadfast that these out-of-scale 32'-towers do not belong in our historic district side streets. We applaud CM...
LW! has a long history as an adversary for the out-of-scale 5G-towers proposed for the streets of our city. In our 2020 and 2021 testimony before the Public Design Commission, we spoke out lamenting the ungainly proportions and unattractive design. Now that these are...
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