Home / DesignNYC Starts to Replace Unused Payphones with Hi-Tech Hubs of Free Public Wi-Fi

NYC Starts to Replace Unused Payphones with Hi-Tech Hubs of Free Public Wi-Fi

New Yorkers can say “goodbye” to outdated pay phones and “hello” to LinkNYC, a hi-tech hub that provides free gigabit Wi-Fi access points for city dwellers. Designed as an update to the standing phone booth, this super-fast infrastructure features a sleek kiosk with a tablet that offers its users many helpful features, including: web browsing; access to city services, maps, and directions; free phone calls to anywhere in the United States with the available Vonage app; and device charging.

The LinkNYC endeavor was first announced in 2014, and it has recently began installation around the city. A new hub was spotted outside of a small Starbucks at 15th street and 3rd Avenue near Manhattan’s Union Square. This is one of the soon-to-be many hubs–by the middle of July, at least 500 other kiosks will be installed in the five boroughs, which is just a fraction of the 7,500 public hubs that will eventually replace pre-existing phone booths.

The prospect of free and fast Wi-Fi benefits more than just residents and tourists. These hubs will also serve advertisements to their users, and they’re expected to generate more than $500 million in revenue for the city over the next 12 years.

Above photo credit: littleny/Shutterstock

Photo credit: @linknycofficial

The installation in progress near Manhattan’s Union Square:

Photo credit: Sean O’Kane for The Verge

Photo credit: Sean O’Kane for The Verge

Photo credit: Sean O’Kane for The Verge

Photo credit: Sean O’Kane for The Verge

Photo credit: Sean O’Kane for The Verge

LinkNYC: Website | Facebook
via [The Verge]

All photos via LinkNYC unless otherwise stated.

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