New York City Finds New Use For Old Pay Phones: Wi-Fi Hotspots

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Michelle Steiner, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. As the last sentence says, other cities take note.

    -- Michelle

    Here's a good idea. New York City wants to repurpose old pay phone kiosks
    by turning the locations into Wi-Fi hotspots across the city’s five

    Many of these pay phone kiosks have fallen into disrepair as the telephone
    companies that used to operate them spend less and less time on their
    upkeep. Residents complain that many of the kiosks have become unsightly
    and crime magnets.

    The city seems to believe that giving a new purpose to these pay phones
    addresses these important concerns, as well as providing more Internet
    access around the city.

    Ten locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens were brought online
    Wednesday. The city says additional hotspots would be turned on in the
    “coming months,†in places like Staten Island and the Bronx. The service is
    free and available to passersby within 300 feet of these kiosks. Currently
    the service includes no advertisements.

    That’s likely not to last: Each installation costs about $2,000, and is
    being paid for by Van Wagner Communications and Titan Communication, which
    own a majority of the city’s 13,000 pay phones.

    Try a Hotspot Out
    If you live in or are traveling to New York City, here’s the official list
    of initial phone kiosk hotspot locations:

    Brooklyn Heights-Cobble Hill: 545 Albee Square and 2 Smith Street
    Astoria: 30-94 Steinway Street
    SoHo: 402 West Broadway
    Fur-Flower District: 458 Seventh Avenue
    Theater District-Clinton: 28 West 48th Street
    Grand Central-United Nations: 410 Madison Avenue
    Midtown-Clinton: 1609 Broadway and 1790 Broadway
    Upper West Side: 230 West 95th Street
    Other cities, take note!

    "With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the
    first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us
    all irrevocably." These words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie -- as
    a wisdom, and warning. The first time any man's freedom is trodden
    on, we're all damaged.
    Michelle Steiner, Jul 12, 2012
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  2. Michelle Steiner

    News Guest

    Nice thought, but the life of a pay phone kiosk was hard knocks at best,
    not to mention "fallen into disrepair" and "unsightly and crime magnets".

    What makes the City and these vendors think it will be able to maintain
    uptime on a wireless hotspot?
    News, Jul 12, 2012
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  3. Wishful thinking?
    Michelle Steiner, Jul 12, 2012
  4. Michelle Steiner

    News Guest

    News, Jul 12, 2012
  5. Michelle Steiner

    Alan Browne Guest

    It's a good idea - at least as a pilot project. The hardlines in place
    can be used for data (DSL) and power to the devices can come from
    whatever drove the lights (or over spare phone lines to the spot). So
    there are no (severe) last mile issues.

    In the "better" areas it should work well as that's where the more
    affluent users will be too, (or rather less destitute) and presumably
    less vandalism.
    Alan Browne, Jul 12, 2012
  6. Michelle Steiner

    hounslow3 Guest

    Why don't they just set the whole city up for wireless and then replace
    phone booths with new-generation emergency call boxes, such as fire,
    police and ambulance?
    hounslow3, Jul 12, 2012
  7. Michelle Steiner

    Bert Hyman Guest

    I'm sure they will.
    Bert Hyman, Jul 12, 2012
  8. Michelle Steiner

    Joe Dee Guest

    What do you mean by "the whole city"? All five boroughs? Any idea what that
    would cost? What comes after a gazillion... (didn't George W. once ask "how
    much is a Brazilian?"? It might be that much.)

    Besides, it just took them 15 years or so to remove all the emergency call
    boxes, so I don't think they'll want to put them or their modern equivalent

    No, I don't have any idea how much it would cost, but I know it's too much.
    Joe Dee, Jul 12, 2012
  9. Michelle Steiner

    George Kerby Guest

    They tried that a few years ago here in Houston. The voters even approved
    funding, but a study proved the whole thing to be non-workable.

    An interesting read on the subject...

    George Kerby, Jul 12, 2012
  10. Michelle Steiner

    Wes Groleau Guest

    My city claims to have free WiFi.

    But it doesn't work.

    Almost anywhere I go, my iPhone asks me if I want to connect to it, but
    is never able to actually get a connection.

    Wes Groleau

    “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers
    that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.â€
    — Alexis de Tocqueville
    Wes Groleau, Jul 13, 2012
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