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New York Mayor plans to change pay phones into free Wi-Fi hubs

A disused pay phone is covered in snow in Times Square in New York Photo: Image by Canice Leung Reuters

New York Mayor plans to change pay phones into free Wi-Fi hubs

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED May 1, 2014

New York City has an estimated 7,000-plus disused pay phones and Mayor Bill de Blasio has a mega revitalizing plan. He wants to convert all pay phones into free Wi-Fi hubs. 

In a statement, de Blasio says, “By using a historic part of New York’s street fabric, we can significantly enhance public availability of increasingly-vital broadband access, invite new and innovative digital services, and increase revenue to the city—all at absolutely no cost to taxpayers,” reports the Metro.

The city is open to proposals, however, the plan has to work for all five boroughs. The project should also be complete within four years and is being overseen by the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. Solar energy proposals are also welcomed.

"The kiosks would ,at a minimum, offer free Wi-Fi 24 hours, seven days a week within a 85-foot minimum radius of each structure," further reports the Metro.

De Blasio additionally hopes that the hotspots could one day grow into charging and information stations, as well.

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Julianne Cassidy is a newly Nashville-based entertainment journalist from Philadelphia.