Old NYC Pay Phones Converted to Free WiFi Hotspots Michael Kwan July 11, 2012 Payphones have largely become a thing of the past. Just about everyone has a cell phone, so the quarter-swallowing telephone booths have lost much of their purpose. But just tearing down those structures seems like such a waste, don’t you think? The citizens of New York City seem to agree and that’s why a pilot program has been set up where several pay phone terminals will be converted into free Wi-Fi hotspots. The free Wi-Fi will be available to residents and visitors to the city alike; all you have to do is agree to the terms of usage on the NYC tourism site. Each hotspot is supposed to have coverage for up to 300 feet. The pilot program calls for the conversion of ten pay phones in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. If everything goes well, they’ll expand the service to all five boroughs of New York, though it’s unlikely that Van Wagner Communications–which owns many of these payphones–will want to outfit all 13,000 payphones in the city. After all, each installation costs them $2000, not to mention the actual cost of service. I think it’s a good idea. Free WiFi is great for everybody, except perhaps the cellular networks who would much rather sell you on a 3G/4G plan. Via Intomobile Share This With The World!