New York City Hangs Up Pay Phones, Plans ‘LinkNYC’ Digital Hubs

Will Offer Public Wi-Fi, Free Domestic Calls, Even Video-chat

The New York City pay phone is getting a high-tech replacement next year.

Dubbed “LinkNYC,” a network of devices will provide free wireless Internet throughout much of the five boroughs as well as free domestic calls and the opportunity to video chat from the street.

Mayor Bill de Blasio ’s office announced Monday that the city’s 6,400 pay phones—all coin-operated with an attached handset—will soon be historic relics.

Next year, New Yorkers will start seeing sleek, nearly 10-foot-high structures with 24-hour, 150-foot-radius Wi-Fi, a keypad for phone calls and a tablet touch screen with a handful of applications related to city services.