Payphones were once an essential element of the urban life in NYC but today they languish in abandonment. The city authorities now plan to replace these payphones with touchscreen payphones which will also be used to offer free Wi-Fi.
The whole scheme is brilliant and although similar other plans have failed in some other parts of the world, NYC may just make it work. The new touchscreen payphones will look like huge smartphones. They will serve a whole lot of purposes, being a Wi-Fi portal, a billboard for running ads and generating revenue for the Wi-Fi costs, free 911 and 311 calls and more.
The ability to sustain their own costs by also running ads is the stroke of genius. It promises to make this largest would-be Wi-Fi network system entirely sustainable, while imparting a lot of convenience to the people. New York City currently has 7,300 payphones and the plan is to replace them all with a total of 10,000 Wi-Fi access points.
The new payphones will be called ‘NYFi‘ and they will come with a sleek and modern design. According to the city’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, “For years, the question was what to do with payphones, and now we have an answer. By using a historic part of New York’s street fabric, we can significantly enhance public availability of increasingly vital broadband access.”
The company which ultimately gets this exciting project will be tasked with completing and deploying it by 2018. This means that we still have to wait a few years before we see the first of these touchscreen payphones on NYC streets.
Courtesy: IB Times