City officials recently announced that the conversion of NYC pay phones into Wi-Fi hotspots will start at the beginning of next year. But before you get excited by the promise of free public wi-fi, there’s a catch: The Verge reports that poorer neighborhoods will be getting the short end of the stick, at least at first. Since low-income areas are less enticing for advertisers, those regions will be given a lower-priority, with greater spacing between stations and slower speeds.
This revelation is a little disappointing, considering that the de Blasio administration has framed the program as part of their plan to target issues of inequality. The Mayor’s Counsel, Maya Wiley, said during a briefing that the advertiser-funded program is “going to help us close the digital divide.”
What will coverage in your neighborhood look like? You can see a map of the Wi-Fi spot’s range as well as a pay phone map, both by I Quant NY, embedded below.
(Photo: Steve Ellaway)