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NYC's PayPhone Kiosks to Become Free WiFi Hubs

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.

  • gigantor21
    Sounds like a great idea...hope it works out in practice.
  • freggo
    That sounds like a great idea. Recycling the public phone booth :-)
  • f-14
    this is probably one of thee smartest things i have ever heard about.
  • zulutech
    This is awesome.
    Now that phone booths aren't really used anymore, it seems like cell phone users aren't nearly as private about their conversations as phone booth users use to be.
  • classzero
    De Ja Vu
  • Thunderfox
    Pay phones... just one more story your grandkids won't understand.
  • alidan
    well. if i lived in new york, i would cancel my cell plan if i could keep the phone, get skype subscription, and there i go...

    granted i personaly despise cellphones and phones in general due to crappy quality in audio... would so pay 300$ for a phone with a 100$ speaker and a 100$ mic.
  • dizzy_davidh
    Sorry NYC but you are way behind the times on this 'innovation' Loads of cities around the world did this several years ago, with their nations telecom firms wiring-in wifi antenna to street lights, traffic signals etc. either in place of telephone booths or in addition to them.
  • pepe2907
    demarestLooks like I'll have to be the first one to think it through. I'm assuming this is going to be using IPv6 or else it could never work. Secondly, you can already get free wi-fi at any mcdonald's, burger king, etc. Thirdly, if the "city" is doing this, then that means taxpayer's money. If the citizens vote and agree they'd like to be paying for their neighbors' internet access, then by all means. Otherwise, fourth, you're just opening the city up for lawsuits for hackers utilizing their resources to perform their dirty deeds.First of all no, it's not the "city", so your taxes aren't touched.
    And second - it would be nice of you to pay attention to the article before commenting. :)