Skip to main content

New York City’s old payphone kiosks set to become gigabit Wi-Fi stations

New York City gets serious about converting its old payphone kiosks into Wi-Fi stations

citybridge follows up linknyc program with linkuk
For several years now we’ve been hearing stories about New York City’s public payphone kiosks being turned into Wi-Fi hotspots, and it finally looks like something’s going to happen.

LinkNYC – a group that includes tech, telecom, and ad firms, as well as the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation – plans to begin work next year converting the city’s thousands of payphone kiosks into Link ‘connection points’ offering:

Related Videos

– free 24/7 gigabit Wi-Fi within a 150-foot radius

– free calls to anywhere within the U.S.

– a touchscreen tablet interface offering information on city services and attractions

– a digital display showing ads and public service announcements

– charging functionality for mobile devices

The group behind the plans, which includes chip giant Qualcomm, is promising “the fastest and largest free municipal Wi-Fi deployment in the world,” with the high-tech connection points coming to 10,000 locations throughout the city’s five boroughs.

The initiative will reportedly cost taxpayers nothing, with ads helping to generate more than $500 million in revenue over 12 years. In addition, the project will create as many as 150 full-time jobs in manufacturing, technology, and advertising, plus around 650 support jobs.

The idea of turning the city’s aging payphone kiosks into something useful for the connected community was first mooted by former Mayor Bloomberg a couple of years back.

Bloomberg’s successor, Bill de Blasio, seems keen to get things rolling, in May holding a meeting attended by more than 50 companies to explore the plan further and invite proposals.

The first Link locations are set to go into operation toward the end of next year.

[Source: LinkNYC]

Editors' Recommendations

What does a private 5G network mean for you?
what does a private 5g network mean for you woman looking down at smartphone

The advent of 5G has the potential to change the world in a lot more ways than just offering faster mobile data. With speeds and latency good enough to replace wired broadband connections, 5G is already revolutionizing home internet services, but even that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In many ways, the real future of 5G technology lies in private 5G networks. With the ability to deliver Wi-Fi-like performance over a much wider area, 5G is finding its way into industrial, agricultural, healthcare, and even retail spaces. With 5G, businesses can get much faster and broader coverage without the expense of wiring up and deploying dozens more Wi-Fi access points.

Read more
Instagram might become more like TikTok in an important way
Turned on smartphone with Instagram app icon on its screen.

To better compete against TikTok, Instagram is taking influence from a major feature of its rival.

Instagram head Adam Mosseri took to yet another social media platform -- Twitter -- to announce that the Facebook-owned service will be getting an "immersive" viewing experience in the form of full-screen photos and videos directly in Instagram's Home feed.

Read more
What is Wi-Fi calling, and how does it work?
Wi-Fi Calling

Network coverage has been steadily improving, but there are still many people around the world who can’t get a decent phone signal in their homes. There are gaps in many networks, particularly in rural areas, as a quick glance at Open Signal’s coverage maps reveals. Wi-Fi calling could be the answer.

Read more