New York payphones become free Wi-Fi hotspots

New York City is trialling a new scheme that sees selected payphones installed with Wi-Fi antennas, providing a new service for New Yorkers.

Initially the service will be rolled out across ten neighbourhoods throughout Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, but if it proves a hit this could be further widespread.

The public will be able to log in free of charge by visiting the New York tourism website and agreeing to the Ts&Cs. They’ll then be able to get online from up to 300 feet from each Wi-Fi hotspot. The service is currently ad-free, but his could change in the future. 

The payphones metamorphosis into Wi-Fi hotspots is thanks largely to Van Wagner Communications which owns the majority of New York’s payphones. It is fitting the $2,000 installation free as it hopes to find a new use for the city’s payphones.

Only just the other day we were wondering how sporadically the iconic British payphone is used in light of everyone having mobile phones. Perhaps New York has found the solution.

Could you see this scheme taking off in other cities? Let us know in the comments below.