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New Yorkers can say “goodbye” to outdated pay phones and “hello” to LinkNYC, a hi-tech hub that provides free gigabit Wi-Fi access points for city dwellers.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.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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