Wifi hubs in New York City payphones
While this lacks the direct charm of building a library inside an abandoned Wal-Mart, it’s still pretty cool. New York City still has plenty of payphones on the streets, in various states of functionality. Now some of them are getting a new lease on life and becoming free WiFi hotspots. The spots are operated by the city and don’t have any advertising, they’re just marked as “Free Wi-Fi”
The estimated radius of the signal is about 100-200 feet, depending on the location. The city hopes to spread the public WiFi throughout the city—there are over 12,000 payphones in about 9,000 locations. City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who has previously chaired the Council’s technology committee, pointed out that even though the city has been introducing more online access at schools, libraries and senior centers, they aren’t open all the time, while this would give 24/7 access to free WiFi.
I’m not sure how often someone is walking down the street with a laptop in New York and needing to get online – I tend to think someone in that situation probably has a smartphone – but hey, free WiFi.
As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.
Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.
Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.