New York City wants people to actually start using payphones to communicate with each other again. Except this time it will be done with a new twist. You see, NYC is creating Wi-Fi hotspots at 10 payphone locations in three of the city’s boroughs. The whole idea is to make wireless access available to as many people as possible in the city. The city is partnering with AT&T for the duration of 5 years to provide free Wi-Fi at 26 locations in 20 parks throughout the city. The payphones will have antennas that create Wi-Fi hotspots providing free wireless service up to 300 feet away. The initial locations are as follows:
SoHo: 402 West Broadway
Fur-Flower District: 458 Seventh Avenue
Theater District-Clinton: 28 West 48th Street
Grand Central-United Nations: 410 Madison Avenue
Upper West Side: 230 West 95th Street
Astoria: 30-94 Steinway Street
No one has mentioned what the city and AT&T is getting out of this but, with a city that has about 12,000 pay-phones and roughly 8.2 million people; I’m sure they’ll find some creative avenue to profit.