I suppose if one were to factor in a mark or measure of civilization, then surely having Wi-Fi connectivity would be one of the points to consider, especially when you see the sheer number of smartphones and tablets that are in use today. It looks like for those who live and work in the five boroughs of New York City, life is about to get a whole lot sweeter with the launch of a free public Wi-Fi system, completing the transformation of old pay phones into Internet hotspots. The ultimate aim? To end up as the world’s largest municipal network.
These former pay phones (how about the trash can idea that was supposed to roll out last fall?) would allow just about anyone who has signed up to the network that is called “Links”, Wi-Fi connectivity – as long as you remain within a 150-foot radius of the kiosk. At these hotspots, there is still a link to the past, pardon the pun, as a landline is there to enable one to make free phone calls anywhere in the U.S., with a couple of USB charging ports for you to give your power hungry device a respite, in addition to a tablet that can surf the Internet, and a red 911 button which is specially meant for emergency calls.
This particular setup did not cost the city a single cent, as CityBridge, a consortium of private companies spearheading the effort, has agreed to fork out money for the entire installation costs as per the franchise agreement. In fact, CityBridge will advance a portion of the collected revenue based on the ads that are plastered outside of these kiosks. Sounds like a win-win situation for all!