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City Approves Plan to Convert Pay Phones to Wi-Fi Hot Spots

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The plan to convert New York City's obsolete pay phone kiosks into Wi-Fi hot spots was approved unanimously by the Franchise and Concession Review Committee yesterday, after a dispute between City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Mayor de Blasio's administration over the distribution of the hot spots was resolved. Stringer, and others, had raised concerns that the service would be unfairly concentrated in wealthier areas, and would offer slower connection speeds in the Bronx and central Brooklyn. Under the revised plan, 400 kiosks will be moved out of Manhattan and into the other four boroughs. "We took a good contract and we made it better," said Stringer.

The $200 million LinkNYC plan (funded for by CityBridge, a consortium of companies including Qualcomm and Titan, and paid for with advertising money from digital displays on the kiosks) will eventually bring up to 10,000 hot spots to the city over the next eight years.
· Plan Approved for Wi-Fi at New York City's Pay Phones [NYT]
· Franchise committee approves new city wi-fi proposal [Capital]
· City to move 400 high-speed Wi-Fi kiosks from Manhattan to outer boroughs [NYDN]
· The Pay Phone of the Future Will Have Wi-Fi, Charging Stations [Curbed]