New York City, the place that takes dreams and turns them into concrete, will be giving payphone kiosks new life: by converting them all into wifi hotspots! New York’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications will be providing the service with help from payphone provider Titan and Van Wagner Communications.
Best of all, connectivity at these oft-abused outposts of technology past will be ad-free, free to users and time-unlimited … at least in the pilot stage. Wireless range will be about 200 feet. The program goes live in ten locations, including Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, to start with. But others are slated for inclusions in the months to come, including the Bronx and Staten Island.
The project was taken up as a frictionless solution to tearing out the payphone kiosks entirely. Tearing out and starting anew is expensive and labour-intensive, so it was perceived as plenty more efficient to convert the kiosks into something the city actually needs.
Photo credit: Rachel Stearns via Instagram.