By Molly Sweeney
A former staple to neighborhoods around the world is getting a major update in New York City. Beginning next year, pay phones will be transitioned into free Wi-Fi Hotspots, taking away the prior necessity of having a surplus of quarters on one’s person.
According to the New York Times, New York City officials say, “the relics will evolve into something deemed far more practical: thousands of Wi-Fi hot spots across the city, providing free Internet access, free domestic calls using cellphones or a built-in keypad, a charging station for mobile devices and access to city services and directions.”
It was announced via the Mayor’s office on Monday, November 17, 2014, that the company CityBridge was chosen to develop the Wi-Fi network which will span through all five boroughs of the City. If approved by New York City’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee (FCRC), the new network would be funded through advertising revenues, which would mean there is no cost to tax payers and the City would develop over $500 million in revenue.
There are currently 20 Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the city with more planned for next year. A list of current locations is available online , as well as other details in regards to the City-wide switch from payphones to free hotspots.