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Hanging Up on Payphones

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Long a staple of the New York streetscape, public payphones will likely soon be replaced by as many as 10,000 futuristic-looking communications kiosks. In a Request for Proposals issued Thursday, the city spelled out the its requirements for the payphone’s replacement.

These kiosks will be required to provide a free wireless internet signal, strong enough to carry 85 feet in all directions. They'll also provide ordinary phone and 911 service.

The current contract for payphones expires in October. The city aims to pick a replacement proposal by the end of the year.

Once the kiosks are installed, the city expects to earn more than $17 million dollars a year from the contract.

This initiative began with the Bloomberg administration. But it's been embraced by Mayor Bill de Blasio as part of his effort to spread access to high speed internet.

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Comments [4]

Raul from Manhattan

You will not be able to urinate in the new booths?

May. 02 2014 01:39 PM
Dmanzaluni

The phone service probably wont accommodate cell phone service: There is no easy way for the phone to pay for itself by scamming cellphone users out of that 25c which these current phones take from unwary tourists while not connecting them to their desired number.

But there is absolutely no practical redress when you have been scammed by one of these fly-by-night phone companies operating these phones

it isnt clear why the current phones steal this money and then dont connect the calls, after all, they have taken the 25c and connecting the call can only cost them a tenth of a cent at most?? But many tourist guides tell the unwary not to use these devices unless they recognise the name of the operators on them.

The City seems perfectly happy with this situation.

May. 02 2014 01:01 PM
Alienated Alien Alienist from New York City

Hm...with not too much trouble, Big Brother may be able to add a spy-eye to the electronics of each kiosk, to keep watch over the neighborhood.

May. 02 2014 08:55 AM

Does the "normal" phone service accommodate non-cell users?

Is there a handset so that conversations will have some privacy & security?
A 911 call without handset near an incident could attract the perps & put the caller at risk.

May. 02 2014 08:54 AM

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