Should your city turn payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots?
The city has refurbished a handful of kiosks in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan as part of a pilot project expected to run until 2014. The first booths went live on Wednesday.
Residents and visitors now have access to the free internet service, but must agree to some terms and conditions and stay within 30 to 60 metres of the kiosks.
The city has partnered with Van Wagner Communications and Titan Communication to run the service and pay for the installations, which cost about $2,000 per hotspot. For now, the private companies are footing the bill.
"We believe deeply that New York City deserves to have great technology on the streets and the payphone franchise is an excellent way to provide that," Scott Goldsmith, Titan's Executive Vice President, told Fox News.
So far, the city has not worked out a business model. The long-term potential of this public-private partnership will depend on how popular the hotspots are, and what kind of feedback they receive from users.
Several other booths are expected to come online in coming months, including in Staten Island and the Bronx.
Is this idea a good call? Would you like to see a similar project in your hometown or city? Where are the best hotspots in your city?
And, out of curiosity, when was the last time you used a sturdy old payphone?
Would you like your city's payphones turned into Wi-Fi hotspots? Yes. No. I'm not sure. Other.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' replies.)
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