Big Apple to turn old payphones into Wi-Fi HotSpots

Big Apple to turn old payphones into Wi-Fi HotSpots
Once associated with New York City, and the star of a feature length movie (ok, maybe Colin Farell was the star), payphones have become moot ever since mobile phones started to be used by everyone. Up until then, the payphone was the form of telephonic communications for those on the go. Unfortunately it required users to carry around a ton of change, wait in line, and hope that they got to the phone before the vandals did. So what could the City do with all of these payphones that are not needed?

New York City has decided to turn its old payphones into Wi-Fi HotSpots that will be free for visitors and residents alike. The program will start with ten locations in three boroughs, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. The latter has six of the ten HotSpots with more coming soon. Check the sourcelink for the current locations. The HotSpots have been outfitted with military grade antennas with a range of 300 feet. Each installation costs $2000 which is being provided by Van Wagner Communications, the company which owns many of the unused payphones. Right now, to access the HotSpots requires signing on to the City's tourism site and agreeing to the TOS. Right now, the service contains no advertising, but that might change as more payphones are converted. There are a total of 13,000 payphones in the Big Apple.

source: NYCGov, via GIGaom

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23 Comments

1. Brewski

Posts: 671; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

Um, I'm confused. Is 13,0000 = Thirteen thousand (13,000) or One Hundred and Thirty thousand (130,000)?

17. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

Wouldn't that be funny for The Doc and Marty to come to 2012 from the past and try to use a payphone just to find out it's an internet hotspot for devices that don't even know what they are!

22. SonyFTW2020

Posts: 311; Member since: May 03, 2012

hahahahah who would think of that..... ROFL

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

This is a GREAT idea. Leave it to the BIG APPLE a.k.a NYC to make the most of what they got. I love it so much. This is good news to all New Yorkers. I love the Empire State.

9. MobileCaseReview

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Yeah, I doubt this is going to happen in Los Angeles any time soon. The amount of ground LA covers is so vast compared to NYC.

13. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1773; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

OH NO, Are you going to see King Kong there?

16. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You kidding me right? Where are you from so I can pick a monster that most likely would be from your neck of the woods. You still bent out of shape with that Godzilla thing? Didn't other people say to you that you were over reacting? Now today you are really going to bring that up? lol

20. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

haha he actually followed u here to remind you of what you said about Godzilla in china?? haha now thats funny... somebody dislikes you......... uh oh! lol

21. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I am by no means racist but the people who call out people like that are usually racist. It was a funny joke & I don't know if he knows but Godzilla IS from Japan. I meant no harm but I guess I must be that important to him to follow me & keep talking about it. lol Should I call him racist for the King Kong comment, I mean he did EXACTLY the same thing I did. Right? lol +1

3. akita256

Posts: 98; Member since: Jan 26, 2012

Yeh, Brewshi, once again...........an article on PA needs proof-reading before being published.

6. inertiatic

Posts: 34; Member since: May 29, 2012

I see what you did there, with spelling his name wrong.

4. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

yes... now this is innovation... :-) every state should do this...

10. Republican

Posts: 99; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

What? Why? No, we are broke. More handouts to lazy welfare bums who want everything for free? Absolutely not.

19. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

lol... thats pretty much what android gets you... a work around for anything that costs $$$ to have it for free...

5. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

As someone born and raised in NYC this is a great idea as we could always use Wifi now that Unlimited Data is on its way out. However it would be wise to leave quite a few payphones in place as I've seen many still using them, by people whose phones have died, those that can't afford or don't have cell phones, subway riders, and when something happens where cell service is knocked out (black out of 2003 or 9/11).

23. SonyFTW2020

Posts: 311; Member since: May 03, 2012

yea man i mean do some but not ALLL you cant just replace things becuase you feel it is in best interest for certain people... Like you said others still use the payphones so you would to leave some for them!! come on new york...

7. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

Now, that's an amazing idea!!! Thumbs up, NYC!!!

8. Republican

Posts: 99; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

More squandering of taxpayer resources. Wifi must be completely deregulated and provided only to those who can pay for it. The worst part is, it will atract poor and unwashed people in troves.

11. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

You're really living up to your name.

14. Jay_F

Posts: 236; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

You're honestly saying that WiFi will attract bums? Do you have any idea how stupid you sound right now?

18. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

He has no idea how stupid he sounds. Let's just thumb him down until he disappears.

12. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1773; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Pfff Kiefer Sutherland aka Jack Bauer was the star what are you smoking

15. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

This is awesome. now i don't have to walk inside a Mc Donalds and I never go to Starbucks anyway. going to try it out when i visit my cousin

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