Print 14 comment(s) - last by Solandri.. on Jul 14 at 12:39 PM

NYC is running a trial on 10 phone booths at the moment

New York City has started turning its outdated pay phone booths into free Wi-Fi hotspots for local Internet use.

NYC has approximately 12,000 phone booths located throughout the five boroughs. While the city isn't looking to get rid of the phones inside these booths, it's looking to give them a bit of an update, considering most people carry cell phones nowadays and don't need pay phones very often.

The solution? Add Wi-Fi-enabled digital kiosks with SmartScreens. Each booth will have Wi-Fi routers at the top of the current booths, where people can stop to use the networks "Free WiFi" or "NYC Free Public WiFi." The networks will not require passwords, but users will have to agree to terms and conditions in order to use them.

NYC's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), along with advertising companies Van Wagner and Titan, have paid to install and manage the new Wi-Fi-enabled phone booths.

"The city and the partners have taken all security measures and we will continue to make sure its the best possible experience for New Yorkers who are signing on to the Wi-Fi," said Rachel Sterne, New York's Chief Digital Officer.

NYC is running a trial on 10 phone booths at the moment, where six are located in Manhattan, two are in Brooklyn and one is in Queens. More will be added over time throughout these three boroughs as well as Staten Island and the Bronx.

Source: ABC News

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By probedb on 7/13/2012 6:42:27 AM , Rating: 2
BT in the UK started doing this almost 10 years ago. I'm not entirely sure how many payphones still exist nowadays though :)

By Omega215D on 7/13/2012 9:06:37 AM , Rating: 2
Being born and raised in NYC I see a lot of phone booths and quite a few are dirty or need major repair and would welcome more Wi-Fi hotspots.

Still, there are payphones still being used and should still be in place. Not everyone has access to a cell phone or their phone battery has died. It's also useful in our subway stations as cell service is not available deep underground. They also come in handy when something happens that affects cell service (we've had 2 major occurrences so far).

By Cypherdude1 on 7/13/2012 7:23:38 PM , Rating: 2
Knowing how any big city is, it won't surprise me when reports surface that the Wi-Fi routers have been ripped out of these phone booths. It won't surprise me when reports surface that the routers are found in pawn shops in other states. ;^)

Furthermore, there can't be that many phone booths left anywhere. I can't remember the last time I have even seen a phone booth, let alone used one.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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