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New Yorks’ phone booths are getting a major 21st century makeover. According to New York City officials, the plan is to convert the thousands of rarely used phone relics into WiFi hotspots – something which in this day and age of cellphones is deemed more practical.

The initiative dubbed LinkNYC will provide New York with thousands of Wi-Fi hot spots across the city, providing free Internet access, free domestic calls using cellphones or a built-in keypad, a charging station for mobile devices and access to city services and directions.

The 10,000 new kiosks covering Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island will each have a connectivity range of about 150 feet and provide Internet speeds about 20 times as fast as the typical home connection, according to city officials.

The venture is being developed by a group of companies including Qualcomm and Titan and will cost more than $200 million and be funded by advertising displays on the kiosks.

According to city officials, by the summer of 2015, New York will be “the fastest and largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world.”

Source: nytimes.com