Registration has been closed for the appearance tonight at 6 p.m. of Dan Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs, at an NYU facility in Brooklyn. Either capacity of 380 has been reached or public access is being limited.
Doctoroff, who is supervising the $200 million replacement of 7,500 New York City phone booths with “hot spot” Wi-Fi transmitting terminals, will discuss “the impact of emerging technology on life in cities.”
National Grid Auditorium
Press contacts at NYU’s Center for Urban Science & Progress, host of the event, would not address the question of whether capacity has been reached. An email at 11:22 a.m. said the event is an "academic lecture and not an open press event." No special privileges will be granted to reporters, it was said.
“We’re on the brink of an historic period for cities around the world,” Doctoroff is quoted as saying in a promotion for tonight’s event which will take place in the National Grid auditorium on the first floor of One MetroTech Center on Jay street in downtown Brooklyn.
The terminals, called “Links,” offer free, “super-fast” access within a radius of as much as 400 feet,” said a Jan. 4, 2016 story in re/code.
People sensitive to electromagnetic radiation say this will interfere with their ability to walk the streets of New York.
They are distributing via the internet forms to be sent to the New York Attorney General and New York State Dept. of Technology and Telecommunications that say the terminals violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, New York City Human Rights Law, and New York State Human Rights Law by subjecting citizens to unwanted radiation.
Radiation health advocates say New York is already one of the most electromagnetic radiated cities in the world. Measurements of Wi-Fi on Times Square are depicted in a YouTube video being circulated by Parents for Safe Technology.org.
Spokepeople for Sidewalk Labs have said that health aspects of the Wi-Fi terminals will not be discussed tonight.
Google Created Sidewalk Labs
The re/code story, by Mark Bergen and Arik Hesseldahl, said Google created Sidewalk Labs as an “urban development company” last June. Google then created Intersection, a merger of an outdoor ad and design firm led by Sidewalk Labs that will build a “free gigabit wireless network across New York City called LinkNYC.” Installation of the terminals will take place over the next eight years.
Colin O’Donnell, chief innovation officer of Intersection, said LinkNYC will be the largest and fastest public Wi-Fi network in the world. “We’re deploying a network that’s so fast the most recent iPhone is only capable of using less than half its available speed,” he said.
The network will be supported by large ads on the two sides of the terminals. City phone booths currently generate $40 million yearly in ads and the terminals are expected to exceed that figure.
Sidewalk Labs has added to staff Janette Sadik-Khan, former NYC transportation commissioner, and hired BerlinRosen as its PR firm. BerlinRosen’s clients include the Jewish Daily Forward, also known as The Forward.