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Culture & Religion

New York City Is Converting Its Outdated Pay Phones into Free Wi-Fi Hotspots

Out with the old, in with the new.

New York City has officially put its ambitious LinkNYC plan into action, embarking on an eight-year project to convert the city’s rusty, old pay phones into shiny, new free Wi-Fi hotspots. Approximately 7,500 outdated telecom stations (and Colin Farrell plot devices) will be replaced under LinkNYC’s provisions. The new hotspot system is funded through digital advertising and will provide free Internet access to legions of locals and tourists alike.

The first unit of the LinkNYC pilot program was rolled out for testing last week at Fifth Street and Third Avenue.

The biggest reason these pay phones are being retrofitted into Wi-Fi hotspots? Tech disruption. The mobile phone completely disrupted the phone booth and landlines, seemingly making them obsolete overnight. In what other realms should we expect the next phase of tech disruption? Singularity University’s Vivek Wadhwa has the answer:


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