LinkNYC And Silicon Harlem Celebrate Two Years of Manhattan Gigabit Center

February 29, 2024

Today, LinkNYC, in partnership with the NYC Office of Technology & Innovation (OTI) and Boldyn Networks, commemorates the two-year anniversary of the Manhattan Gigabit Center alongside community partner Silicon Harlem.

The Manhattan Gigabit Center opened in February 2022 and was New York City’s first-ever Gigabit Center. The first-of-its-kind community resource, located at Silicon Harlem, is powered by high-speed LinkNYC Wi-Fi and supports local students, tech startups, community businesses, and neighborhood organizations with reliable broadband connectivity and technology-focused programming, including digital literacy training. 

According to a 2023 poll conducted by HarrisX,LinkNYC_Fact Sheet Manhattan.pdfLinkNYC Fact Sheet_Manhattan.pdf. New York City Council data also show 40% of Upper Manhattan residents lack reliable broadband access. The Manhattan Gigabit Center was established in an effort to help close the borough’s digital divide through free services and essential resources that foster equitable access to technology among community members.

“We’re incredibly proud of our partnership with Silicon Harlem,” said Nick Colvin, CEO of LinkNYC. “Two years ago, we embarked on a journey to establish the Manhattan Gigabit Center, a beacon of connectivity and opportunity in the heart of Harlem. Our vision was to empower New York’s youth and entrepreneurs, particularly those facing social and economic challenges, with a new avenue to access digital tools and resources. Silicon Harlem has cultivated a true hub of innovation and community for those who need it most.”

“Powering the LinkNYC program and Manhattan Gigabit Center with reliable broadband

connectivity is critically essential and immensely rewarding,” said Jeff Garte, Boldyn Networks, Northeast U.S. President. “As we continue to deploy the network infrastructure needed across the city, the Center is a fantastic example of how important digital equity and equal access to services are for all New Yorkers.”

“Across the five boroughs, the Adams administration is proud to provide New Yorkers in historically underserved communities with greater access to free high-speed internet, tech devices, and digital skills training,” said New York City Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser. “For the past two years, the Manhattan Gigabit Center has supplied young students and entrepreneurs in Harlem with the essential tech-based tools and opportunities necessary to achieve their dreams. I thank LinkNYC and Silicon Harlem for their continued commitment to bridging the digital divide through programs like the Manhattan Gigabit Center.”

Since opening, the Manhattan Gigabit Center has expanded local students’ STEM education through after-school digital literacy training, drone piloting and coding courses, and augmented and virtual reality programming. More than 80 Chromebooks and 25 laptops have been distributed to local youth by the Center to address community disparities in digital and educational access and unleash young New Yorkers’ talent and creativity in a society increasingly driven and shaped by internet connectivity. 

The Manhattan Gigabit Center also hosts various youth and adult programs designed by the C-Better Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting underserved communities to economic opportunities via technology access and education. Through the Center, the C-Better Foundation has hosted 35 youth interns — providing them with valuable hands-on experience in the tech industry — and trained 45 youth in four- and six-week technology courses, equipping them with essential skills for their future careers.

Multiple aspiring community entrepreneurs also graduated from the C-Better Foundation’s comprehensive six-week Entrepreneurship Program at the Manhattan Gigabit Center as they prepared to start their first businesses. Events such as the Annual Next-Gen Tech Conference, which convened over 300 attendees from the greater Harlem community and featured speakers from various fields, were also hosted by the Center.

“We are excited to celebrate the second year of our Manhattan Silicon Harlem Gigabit Center, empowered by an advanced network infrastructure by LinkNYC that brings lightning-fast connectivity to our community, ” said Clayton Banks, CEO of Silicon Harlem. “Through strategic partnerships, we’ve established a cutting-edge network, offering gigabit speeds to propel innovation and connectivity. This milestone underscores our commitment to democratizing access to high-speed internet and fostering technological empowerment for all.”

“We take great pride in the remarkable success achieved at the Manhattan Silicon Harlem Gigabit Center over the past two years,” said Roxanne Banks, Executive Director of the C-Better Foundation. “The Center has served as our home for numerous workshops and training sessions, all aimed towards empowering Harlem community members with new skills to help them level the playing field socially, economically, and professionally. We look forward to seeing the impact of this vital community resource continue to grow in the years ahead.”

Gigabit Centers were established by LinkNYC, the NYC Office of Technology & Innovation, and Boldyn Networks in all five boroughs with the help of community-based partners like Silicon Harlem. At each location, residents can access free high-speed LinkNYC Wi-Fi, digital literacy training, and digital devices. 


LinkNYC is the world’s largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network. Each Link kiosk provides free superfast Wi-Fi, phone calls, device charging, access to social services, and displays content such as real-time weather, transit info, public art, and local information. The city-wide network has more than 15 million Wi-Fi users and has connected more than 30 million free phone calls.

All of LinkNYC’s services are completely free to users and taxpayers, provided by CityBridge, a joint venture led by Intersection Media and Boldyn Networks. The second generation offering will deploy thousands of new kiosks, called Link5G, enabled with 5G wireless technology across the city. For more information about LinkNYC or to find a Link near you, visit

Photo credit: LinkNYC.

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