New York City to Replace Payphones with Gigabit WiFi Kiosks


Remember payphones? They used to be everywhere, distinctive green and yellow in Ireland, red in Britain. These days you might find one in a retro pub, a nod to the ‘good old days’.

Nowadays we don’t just all have phones in our pockets: we’ve got media hubs, portable WiFi hotspots, TVs – and TV stations! So we don’t need ‘phoneboxes’ anymore – but could we still do with some public communications infrastructure?

New York City seems to think so. It’s proposing to replace the payphone network with ‘Links’, a network of advertising display points with an integrated touchscreen which will also act as a WiFi Access Point.  Up to 10,000
Links will be installed across all five boroughs, and thousands of them will be equipped with free gigabit public Wi-Fi.

Construction of the LinkNYC network will begin in 2015, and the first structures will become operational by the year’s end.

It is proposed that the LinkNYC system will be completely funded by advertising revenues. Links will have the following features:

  • 24/7 free Internet access with up to gigabit speeds
  • Free phone calls anywhere in the U.S.
  • A touchscreen tablet interface to access City services,
    directions and more
  • Easy access to 911 and 311
  • Free charging station for mobile devices
  • Digital displays for advertising and public service

As if this wasn’t cool enough, Link.NYC is also using one of the new .NYC domains! is brought to you by Blacknight.

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