With the ubiquity of cell phones, payphones have become a relic of the past.
Rather than tearing them down or leaving them sitting, New York City's devised a plan to make the city's 12,400 payphone kiosks useful to the 21st century.
The plan is to wire payphones with WiFi, essentially making these kiosks free WiFi hubs for the public to use. Ten kiosks in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn have already made the switch and the plan is to expand to all 12,400 kiosks in New York City. The Van Wagner and Titan outdoor advertising companies, who own a majority of these kiosks, hopes that the WiFi will increase traffic to these kiosks, generating ad revenue.
With smartphone data plans as expensive as they are, free public WiFi is a nice alternative.