London already has public charging stations that look like phone booths, so New York couldn’t have settled for less. Big Apple’s charging stations will also provide people with free Gigabit Wi-Fi, which is something more metropolises should adopt.
It’s really painful to be in a capital and not have Wi-Fi everywhere. NYC may not be the capital of the US, but it is the country’s largest city and has more than 50 million visitors each year. In this context, offering free Wi-Fi to the public is more than a simple necessity, it’s a must. The LinkNYC charging stations will not only provide quick access to a free and fast Internet connection, but they will also allow people to charge their devices if they’re on the run and don’t have a charger handy or a power outlet nearby. The Links are quite similar to this two-faced 12-feet tall payphone concept, but has plenty of unique design elements to call it original.
The LinkNYC network will include 10,000 such stations, and will become a reality thanks to CityBridge, a consortium made by Titan, Control Group, Qualcomm, and Comark. Seeing how Titan is one of the two major operators of current old-school pay phones, its involvement in repurposing these ancient pieces of technology is only logical.
“One of the reasons why this Wi-Fi network is expected to work where others haven’t is because we have linked it to a significant source of revenue, which is the advertising component,” explained Scott Goldsmith, Titan’s COO.
Luckily for New Yorkers, the LinkNYC network won’t be paid out of their pockets. The Links will display all sorts of ads that basically pay for the charging station. On top of that, they will generate up to $500 million per year, and that’s definitely not a sum to neglect.
Accessibility is also something the developers of the Links have taken into account. The pay phones may have a futuristic design, but people with various disabilities will still be able to use them.
And as though free Wi-Fi and charging wasn’t enough, the pay phone will enable people to place calls to any of the 50 states at no cost. Now this is an example that other big cities and capitals should follow! For the time being I can only say this: Bravo, NYC!