Extreme Makeover: Pay Phone Edition?  New York is turning a number of old pay phone kiosks into Wi-Fi hotspots, located across the city’s five boroughs. Some have already been transformed, while a number of additional hotspots are reportedly on the way.

A lot of the pay phone kiosks are falling apart as telephone companies spend less and less time ensuring their upkeep. Nearby residents complain about the way they look in the city and that they are common crime spots. The city thinks that turning the pay phones into Wi-Fi hotspots will address these concerns, while also providing wider Internet access throughout the city.

So far, ten locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens have been brought online since Wednesday, with more on the way in the coming months in places like Staten Island and the Bronx.

The best part about this is that Internet access from these hotspots is entirely free and available to passersby within 300 feet of the kiosks. As of now the service includes no advertisements, but that probably won’t last long as each kiosk costs about $2000 to install and is being paid for by Van Wagner Communications and Titan Communications, which own most of the city’s 13,000 pay phones.

 Here’s the official list of the initial hotspot locations:

Brooklyn

  •   Brooklyn Heights-Cobble Hill: 545 Albee Square and 2 Smith Street

Queens

  •   Astoria: 30-94 Steinway Street

Manhattan

  •   SoHo: 402 West Broadway
  •   Fur-Flower District: 458 Seventh Avenue
  •   Theater District-Clinton: 28 West 48th Street
  •   Grand Central-United Nations: 410 Madison Avenue
  •   Midtown-Clinton: 1609 Broadway and 1790 Broadway
  •   Upper West Side: 230 West 95th Street

Source and Image Credit: Macworld

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