New York City Makes Payphones Useful, Turns Them Into Wifi Banks

07.12.12 6 years ago

Payphones are useless relics. It’s a common joke that payphones are more convenient than cell phones, but they require you to have change on your person and they’re only convenient when you don’t need one. We’re pretty sure the only people who use payphones anymore are drug dealers..

Apparently New York City still has people forced to use them, however, so Van Wegner Communications, which run the city’s payphone infrastructure, have figured out how to make them useful for the rest of us: WiFi.

The pilot program, announced yesterday, has set up ten payphone banks as WiFi hotspots as part of a pilot program, presumably to see if they’ll get defaced and destroyed as Hollywood has convinced us all barbarian hordes roam Brooklyn defacing public property. You’ll have to look at a local ad first, but then, hey, free WiFi!

This is a great idea, not least because it finds a use for payphones for somebody other than that one guy who just will not go to MetroPCS or Cricket or whatever and join the rest of the human race. It also makes WiFi calling substantially easier, since let’s face it, that’s what most people will use this for.

The city hopes to expand it to all five boroughs. In the meantime, you’ll have to go to Starbucks to mooch WiFi.

image courtesy New York City Tumblr

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