Queens Gets Free Wi-Fi Service Provided Through Payphone Kiosks

0 comments Article, Aug 02, 2012

NYC CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER STERNE, COUNCIL MEMBER BREWER, VAN WAGNER COMMUNICATIONS, AND TITAN

ANNOUNCE

FREE WI-FI SERVICE PROVIDED THROUGH PAYPHONE KIOSKS

Pilot Program Will Expand to Include Locations in All Five Boroughs at No Taxpayer Cost

Citywide Chief Information and Innovation Officer Rahul N. Merchant, Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne, Council Member Gale A. Brewer, Van Wagner Communications Senior Operations Executive Peter Izzo, and Titan Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Scott E. Goldsmith today announced a pilot program to provide free public WiFi at public pay telephone installations across the five boroughs.

New Yorkers and visitors are now able to connect free-of-charge using their smartphones, tablets, and other WiFi-enabled devices. Access is currently available at 10 locations, with additional hotspots to follow in the coming months.

“One of the most frequent requests from New Yorkers is for more public WiFi in public spaces,” said Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne. “Under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership, today the City provides free WiFi access in a wide range of public spaces, including every library branch and more than 40 parks across the five boroughs. With this exciting WiFi pilot of New York City payphone kiosks, we are proud to take another step to connect more New Yorkers.

“Van Wagner is happy to participate in providing WiFi access to the residents and visitors of our great city,” said Peter Izzo, Van Wagner Communications Senior Operations Executive. “This is just the first step in developing additional products that will leverage our robust infrastructure. When you bring limitless bandwidth and commercial electric power to thousands of city street corners, the possibilities are endless. We anticipate working with DoITT and NYC Digital to continue rolling out services that benefit the public.”

As part of the pilot program, free WiFi is now available at the following payphone locations. The expected radius of WiFi service ranges between 100-200 feet from each kiosk where equipment is installed.


BROOKLYN
Brooklyn Heights-Cobble Hill:
545 Albee Square
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
1790 Broadway (event location)
Upper West Side: 230 West 95th Street

Additional locations – including those in the Bronx and Staten Island – will be launched shortly. Success of the pilot program will be gauged upon the level of hotspot usage and feedback provided by the public.

Payphone WiFi is available anytime, free-of-charge, and with no limit on usage. To access the service, users need simply to select the “Free WiFi / “NYC Free Public WiFi” option on their devices, accept the terms and conditions, and start browsing. No personal information will be gathered and no advertising will be presented as part of the pilot program. WiFi installation does not affect the operation of the payphones, and each phone remains in compliance with all of the City’s current rules and regulations. Technical assistance is available by contacting 311 – online, by phone, or by text at 311-692.

There are currently 12,360 DoITT-regulated public pay telephones on the City's sidewalks from 13 companies. Of that total, 5,766 are in Manhattan, 2,530 are in Queens, 2,386 are in Brooklyn, 1,553 are in the Bronx, and 125 are in Staten Island.

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