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Google to Turn NYC Payphones Into WiFi Hotspots

InformationWeek, InformationWeek
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 14:00 EDT

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Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
7/31/2014 9:20:49 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Great
Amy, the City of Glendale Ca, my hometown took the phone wiring boxes and had local artists paint a mural on them. Im not sure how many they painted but they do look nice. Hopefully they last. And taggers dont get to them.

Amy Rogers Nazarov
Amy Rogers Nazarov  
7/31/2014 3:55:43 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Great
Dave, that's a fine example of "Everything Old is New Again."

In DC, folks took a different tack: old fireboxes were converted into public art. Artists competed to turn the abandoned boxes - which are quite elegant - into historic markers telling passers-by something about the neighborhood, street or block, and the inhabitants that once dwelled there. The example you cite has more direct pragmatic value, but the "art boxes" enrich the city culturally and historically.

Amy Rogers Nazarov
Amy Rogers Nazarov  
7/31/2014 3:50:27 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Great
Thank goodness they weren't trashed. They could also be, I dunno, confessionals, or storage for umbrellas or shoes.

Space for a private phone call still matters to a lot of people, though not the woman at the coffee shop this morning. I wanted to hurl a latte at her head. 

Amy Rogers Nazarov
Amy Rogers Nazarov  
7/31/2014 3:29:23 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Great
A plethora of public charging stations for cars may be some years in the future, but my lands, if we can't offer a plethora of charging stations for devices NOW, that's really messed up. Then again, I remember about ten months ago fighting with several trade-show techhies, each with an array of devices in their holsters, over a pair of outlets with four plugs total after walking approximately three miles around the cavernous Washington Convention Center. Why, Why, WHY?

NewDream
NewDream  
7/31/2014 11:41:12 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Great
It's fascinating that a hotel is repurposing the old private phone booths and making them private Internet areas...I think it's pretty great actually. Do they charge for access?

PeterJ
PeterJ  
7/31/2014 10:59:29 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Great
As someone who has dealt with telecom companies in my area and payphones in public buildings, I tend to think that the displacement of revenue from old devices has simply been transferred to wireless devices. And will wireless charging be the next fee?

PeterJ
PeterJ  
7/31/2014 10:41:45 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Great
They are all gone around me as well. I recently visited an old hotel in Newport, RI where the old mahogany private phone stalls were vacated of their payphones, making room for a sitting area to use devices.

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
7/31/2014 10:25:01 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Great
A few months ago, i was walking in Downtown Burbank Ca with my family. I noticed a pay phone near by, when we passed it, there was no phone...in its place was an emergency call box. Press the single button and it connects you to the emergency services.

The City of Burbank CA offers free WiFi in the downtown area. its slow but thats expected when you have thousands of people connected to it. Offering to turn the payphones into WiFi Hotspots could increase the speeds and bandwidth offered. Great idea NYC has for this.  

heck they took all the call boxes out from the freeways because people have cell phones.

turning Payphones booths into WiFi Hotspots would be amazing. It would be great. More people would have access within the city.

If there are no payphones in the city, why not add the WiFi hotspot to the Telephone Poles or Light Poles? Or to the rooftops of businesses or store fronts? You could place them every 500 to 1000 feet or so, extending the range and strength of the signals.

Susan Leach
Susan Leach  
7/30/2014 11:06:39 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Great
Amy, I don't remember ever seeing a phone booth (Dr. Who style) in Barcelona -- not that I have really looked for one. For sure there are some, although about 30,000 have disappeared across Spain in the last decade, apparently.

You can still makes calls from convenience stores and malls and the airport. But it's barely "a meaningful population."

Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney  
7/30/2014 1:36:11 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Great
I'm with you, Resurgent. Anything that gets more public WiFi out there can only be a good thing. And Ms. Nazarov's suggestion for solar and WiFi might just be the best idea since the microwave. Plus I'm guessing these old phone booths still have some kind of twisted copper line to them, so bam! You're already connected.

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