Say Goodbye To The Old Payphones In NYC
Can you remember the last time you used a payphone? Neither can we. Public telephones are an old piece of our communication infrastructure, and NYC is ready to replace them.
Today, the New York City mayor’s office announced the winning bid to transform the city’s existing payphone infrastructure. LinkNYC will bring free gigabit Wi-Fi connectivity to some 7000 street towers. It’s one of the largest and most ambitious citywide Wi-Fi networks in the world.
Earlier this year, New York put out a request for proposals for plans to overhaul the existing payphone system, which is decrepit and frankly, not that useful any more. LinkNYC will bring blazing fast connectivity and other services in the form of 11-inch slim aluminum stands called “Links.”
In addition to being modern communication hubs, the Links will serve as digital billboards. The city expects to pull in more than $500 million in advertising revenue over the next 12 years, both offsetting the networks $200 million construction cost and helping pay for maintenance. The design for the new Links are final, but CityBridge, the consortium behind the project, say that there will be multiple designs — louder, flashy Links for commercial areas, and more subtle towers for residential areas. The rollout is bound to be gradual, but CityBridge says construction is due to begin sometime next year.
LinksNYC sounds pretty awesome to me. What’s missing? The word pay: it’s all free.