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    Plans to turn 7000 old NYC payphones into Wi-Fi hotspots

    New York City is moving forward with the plan to retrofit its obsolete pay phones into a citywide network of Internet hotspots and state-of-the-art information hubs.

    The concept was first put forth for a 2013 competition, where designers were asked to dream up fanciful ideas for the City’s 7000 decrepit pay phones.

    More than 125 submissions were received, featuring a variety of innovations, from augmented reality and hyper-local sensors to voice and gesture controlled kiosks. 

    The City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) has now put out a new call for realistic, budget friendly proposals that will enhance public access to broadband internet, invite new and innovative digital services, and increase revenue to the city. 

    According to the DoITT, the winning proposal will provide for up to 10,000 new public communication points and will be funded primarily through the sale of digital advertising in commercial corridors.

    Submitted designs will be evaluated on the basis of functional efficiency, aesthetics, security, durability and adaptability and must be able to be deployed within four years. 

    Entry in the 2013 'Reinvent Payphones Design Competition'   Image: NYC Mayor Office Flickr

    Entry in the 2013 'Reinvent Payphones Design Competition'   Image: NYC Mayor Office Flickr

    Entry in the 2013 'Reinvent Payphones Design Competition'   Image: NYC Mayor Office Flickr

    Courtesy Gizmodo and New York City Office

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