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Select New York City payphones to become free Wi-Fi hotspots

Dan Graziano
July 11th, 2012 at 10:05 PM

A small group of New York City payphones will soon be getting a new lease on life through a pilot program that will transform the old phones into Wi-Fi hotspots, GigaOM reported. The hotspots, which will be ad-free and open to the public, will initially be available at 10 payphones throughout three of the city’s boroughs. The payphones feature “military grade” antennas that can provide service up to 300 feet away, and installation is being provided free-of-charge by Van Wagner Communications. New York is planning to eventually expand its hotspot program to more of the city’s 13,000 payphones, and the ongoing cost and maintenance will be provided by the payphone companies. It was previously reported that New York was planning to revive roughly 250 old phone booths with 32-inch Internet-ready “smart screens.”


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