New York payphones to become free Wi-Fi hotspots

New York City is to implement a project to transform disused payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots.

The scheme, called LinkNYC, allows pedestrians to access super-fast internet and charge their mobile phones and tablets. Each Link terminal will be able to support hundreds of Wi-Fi users simultaneously.

By June this year, more than 500 payphones in five boroughs will be transformed.

Users will also be able to make free calls within the US using an application created by service provider Vonage. International calls can be made using calling cards.The Links also provide a screen that can be used for free internet browsing, access to city services, maps and directions.

The Links will run on a secure Android operating system, and the public network is encrypted.

Additional apps and services are due to be rolled out over the next decade.

Within four years, some 4,550 Links will be installed.

LinkNYC is a collaboration between the City of New York and CityBridge, a NYC-based consortium specialising in technology, media and connectivity.

Images via LinkNYC

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